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Splash founder banks on ‘bagoong’ for growth

/ 05:08 AM May 02, 2019

After selling his personal care empire, the founder of Splash Corp. wants to focus on his food business, targeting to hit P900 million worth of sales as he bets on the consumer appetite for shrimp paste or “bagoong.”

Rolando Hortaleza, the founder of the homegrown firm behind the likes of SkinWhite, told reporters on the sidelines of a press briefing on Monday that the sale would give him time to focus on Prime Global Corp.

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Prime Global, once a subsidiary of Splash Corp., has both a food and finance business. The company is now an entirely separate entity from Splash.

This year, the company said sales would more than double to P900 million from P400 million in 2018. The company said it was targeting P1.5 billion worth of revenues in 2020.

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“I was busy with Splash so I couldn’t focus with the food [business]. Now I have more time to expand. We’re launching three products this year. These would be the [growth] driver,” he said.

Splash, which began the “whitening craze” more than two decades ago, has been sold to Wipro Consumer Care, a formidable global player that is also in the personal care business.

The homegrown firm sold its personal care business for P9 billion to P11 billion, according to Hortaleza’s estimates, as he now entrusted the direction of his multibillion-peso business in the hands of the India-based company.

When Prime Global was still a part of Splash, Hortaleza said the food business accounted for only 10 percent of total revenues.

Last year’s revenue, he said, was largely accounted for by the demand for shrimp paste as he estimated the product to account for 70 percent of the total food business sales.

The remaining 30 percent, he said, was accounted for by other food products such as peanut butter.

In 2011, Splash bought an 80-percent stake in the food manufacturing unit of the Barrio Fiesta restaurant group, which produces shrimp paste, among other products. The purchase did not include the restaurants.

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Splash’s food business capitalizes on the appetite of Filipinos both here and abroad, particularly in the Middle East and the United States.

“When I bought Barrio Fiesta, its market was 70 percent international [and 30 percent local]. But [upon thinking about] the idea of growing it, the growth should come from the domestic market,” he said.

Now, 60 percent of its sales is local. He said this could reach 80 percent in another two years.

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TAGS: Bagoong, Business, splash corp
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