LT Foods, one of India’s biggest rice processors, is to open its new European rice plant in the Netherlands tomorrow (28 June).

The new facility, near to the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, will initially be capable of processing 60,000 tonnes, including basmati, Thai, Jasmine and US rice.

The rice will be distributed in Europe, according to the Mumbai-listed company, which has seen its shares more than double this year as it has increasingly invested in its branded foods and launched in new overseas markets.

LT Foods first announced plans for the plant last November. At the time, Aditya Arora, the director of LT Foods’ European branch, said: “We are setting up this plant in line with our growth strategy, and it will strengthen our position in this segment and help us to expand our portfolio as well.”

The company is active in more than 65 countries but has said it wants to “further expand its geographical reach”.  The company, which has brands including Daawat, Royal and Hadeel, dominates the basmati market in the US with a 50% share but its shares of the Middle East and European markets are nominal.

Basmati rice accounts for around 38% of total rice consumption in the Middle East, 4.4% in Europe, 1.3% in the US and 1.2% in Asia, according to LT Foods.
Last month, the group reported increased annual sales and profits, which it attributed to its investment in its brands over the year. The company posted net profit of INR1.29bn (US$20m) for the 12 months to the end of March, up 78% on the previous year. The company provided an annual EBITDA figure of INR4.03bn, which was an 11% increase on 2016.