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Thailand's CP Foods to invest up to US$763m in 2015, spin off non-core assets

[BANGKOK] Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL , Thailand's largest meat and animal feed producer, plans to spend 20-25 billion baht (S$611m - S$1.06b) this year, mostly on the expansion of its international operations and overseas acquisitions.

CP Foods will keep its annual investment budget at that level over the next five years, aiming to meet the company's sales growth target of 10 per cent a year, Chief Executive Adirek Sripratak told Reuters on Thursday.

Adirek warned that domestic consumption remains weak as high household debt and lower agriculture prices prompt consumers to be more cautious about spending.

CP Foods plans to spin off the non-core assets of its Hong Kong-listed C.P. Pokphand, and put the new entity on the Hong Kong stock exchange sometime in the middle of the year, Adirek said.

CP Pokphand has animal feed and farm businesses in China and Vietnam.

CP Foods, the world's biggest shrimp farmer, expects its shrimp business to recover in the second quarter of this year after being hit by the Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) disease for more than two years, Adirek said.

CP Foods is the flagship unit of Charoen Pokphand Group, owned by Thailand's richest man Dhanin Chearavanont.