UK-based snacks group Pladis has announced plans to double its chocolate sales and increase its biscuit sales by 50% as the company targets revenues of GBP3.2bn (US$3.9bn) over the next two years.

A spokesperson for Pladis, formed last year as a subsidiary of Turkey-based Yildiz Holding, told just-food the company aims to focus on ramping up sales in the Middle East, China and Nigeria.

CEO Cem Karakas gave an insight into Pladis’s new global sales drive yesterday (13 March). He said: “In 2017, we will continue our innovation and modernisation programmes, invest across the supply chain and bring new products to market faster than any of our competitors to outperform the category.”

“In our first transformational year, we have brought together and successfully grown three iconic brands, amidst the rising costs of raw materials and volatile global currencies,” Karakas said. “In 2016, Pladis produced one million tonnes of biscuits, 500,000 tonnes of chocolate and 40,000 tonnes of gums and candies. We distributed our products to four billion people in more than 130 countries. In 2017, we will do more.”

Karakas told just-food last October the company was increasing its investment in order to grow sales in the global chocolate and biscuit categories.

According to Pladis, business opportunities extend beyond its “two anchor markets” of the UK and Turkey. The company described Africa as “a strong growth market”.

In the Ivory Coast, Pladis said its Yildiz parent company is acquiring a cocoa processing plant, “which will allow greater efficiency and agility across the chocolate supply chain”. “This adds to the company’s global capacity in chocolate production alongside facilities in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UK, the US and Belgium,” Pladis said.

In China, Godiva chocolate, one of three so-called “master brands” operated by Pladis, “is a focal point”. Pladis claimed Godiva was China’s “best-selling premium chocolate, responsible for $60m of the wider group’s $100m sales in 2016”, Pladis said. “Yildiz will continue to open more stores in a short timeframe to fuel consumer demand.”

This month, Pladis will launch a new Godiva tablet range in supermarkets in Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which it said “will extend to other markets including the UK, the Netherlands and China this year”.