Japanese food manufacturer Meiji Holdings has announced that it will split the business to create a food company and a pharmaceutical company, from 1 April 2011.

The Meiji Dairies Corp. unit will be renamed Meiji Co. and will handle all food production, while Meiji Seika will be renamed Meiji Seika Pharma Co. for pharmaceutical production.

Meiji said the move will generate "synergies within and among the business units".

The newly-divided company is expecting JPY1.5trn (US$17.52bn) net sales in 2020 and an operating income ratio of 5% or higher, up on the JPY1.11trn net sales it reported for fiscal 2009.