IPO-bound Axelum plans to expand coco exports
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Axelum Resources Corp., the IPO-bound coconut producer and exporter, is looking to expand its market abroad.

Company president Henry Raperoga said there is a growing market for healthy products such as coconut, particularly among health-conscious consumers worldwide.

“If raw material costs are allocated equitably across our products, coconut milk powder is one of the most profitable for the company,” Raperoga said.

He said the so-called health-conscious market worldwide is willing to pay a premium for healthy products. The company plans to capitalize on this trend as well as continue to develop the market for coconut milk powder.

Coconut milk powder has one of the highest margins among Axelum’s product offerings, he said.

A recent industry study by the University of Asia & the Pacific (UA&P) showed that coconut milk powder exports have been growing by 38 percent per year on volume and 60 percent per year on value.

The main markets for the products are Netherlands, Japan, the United States, France and Australia.

At the same time, Axelum intends to increase its local domestic market exposure as part of its growth strategy.

He said the company plans to expand its distribution capabilities in key cities outside Metro Manila in the next two to three years.

Consumers are exploring the introduction and production of more gluten-free, dairy-free and organic variants of existing product offerings.

Raperoga said there is room to grow given that the company’s manufacturing plant in Medina, Misamis Oriental has yet to be fully utilized. The facility has the capacity to produce different coconut variants.

“As of end-2018, our manufacturing plant is not fully utilized, which means there is room to scale up our manufacturing and distribution capabilities to address the growing demand of our clientele,” he said.

Axelum is planning to debut in the Philippine Stock Exchange with a P4.77 billion initial public offering.

The company is a major manufacturer and exporter of coconut water and is one of the major suppliers of Vita Coco, the global leader in coconut water.

It exported 25 million liters of coconut water in 2018.

The company’s clients include local and international food & beverage companies, confectioneries, bakeries, private label supermarkets and grocery store chains, food service industries and coconut coffee creamer manufacturers.

Its customer base includes prominent global brands like The Hershey Co., Nestle, Unilever, Ferrero, General Mills, Campbell’s, ConAgra Foods, among others.

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