Italian chocolate maker Ferrero will focus on organic growth and selected investments outside Europe, according to the family business’s chief executive, Giovanni Ferrero.
In a rare interview with the press, Ferrero, who in April became the group’s sole chief executive following the death of his brother Pietro, told Milan-based newspaper Corriere della Sera that for the time being the company does not intend to make any major acquisitions.
“We have always grown by internal lines and for the moment we do not have different plans,” he said.
“Today, the group’s main objective is to expand internationally, by establishing its products globally,” added Ferrero, saying that the company’s growth strategy will be based on brand development, innovation and markets outside Europe.
“The group reached its successes not only by launching excellent products, but also by inventing real myths, consumers’ ‘love marks’, such as Nutella, Rocher, Kinder and Tic Tac. Great brands are … [a] source of a competitive advantage,” he said.
Ferrero expects that in the next five years, emerging markets, like Asia, Latin America, Russia and eastern Europe, will drive 70% of growth within the confectionary business.
“We need to expand quickly in these countries, with selected but interesting initiatives, such as Kinder-Joy for Indian children, Rocher in China, fresh snacks in Russia and Turkey, and Kinder in Mexico. This is why we approved new industrial investments in Turkey and Mexico,” he said.
In the interview, Ferrero also spoke about the death of his brother.
“The emptiness and the sorrow left by the loss of Pietro are still really strong,” he says. “Our response … is in our work ethic, in the motto of the [Ferrero] Foundation: ‘work, create, donate’.”
Ferrero added that nothing substantial has changed in the company’s management since his brother’s death.
“Obviously we had to rationalise the decision process,” he said, adding that Ferrero’s traditional values haven’t changed.
“Before, the group was jointly managed by two chief executives. Today, unfortunately, there is only one,” he said.