Limagrain, the French agricultural co-op, has opened its first bakery in Brazil as it looks to build its bread and pastry business outside its domestic market.

The plant is located in Guarapuava in southern Brazil. From January, Limagrain, which owns the Jacquet and Brossard bakery brands, will supply a line of products to Brazil's largest retailer CBD, which is controlled by French retailer Casino.

Limagrain said production lines are expected to be installed next autumn; until then, products will be imported from France.

The ambition of the Jacquet-Brossard group is to achieve a turnover of EUR20m (US$25.4m) in three years but, also and especially, to become a major player in the Brazilian market with a turnover in excess of EUR80m in 2020, Emmanuel Aimond, CEO of Limagrain's Jacquet-Brossard unit, said during the opening of the plant.

Limagrain added Brossard to a bakery portfolio containing Jacquet last year when it acquired Brossard.

Earlier this week, the co-op, which also claims to be the fourth-largest seed company in the world, reported lower annual profits but higher sales.

Net profit totalled EUR88m, compared with EUR92m during the previous fiscal year, which had included a windfall profit of EUR30m as a result of the sale of equity securities in China. Consolidated sales were EUR1.78bn, up almost 15%