The Thai-Japanese joint venture K&U Enterprise has reported 100% growth in annual sales to THB1.5bn (US$46.4m), and has announced that it plans to move into South Korea and other Southeast Asian countries.

The company said the move into South Korean and Southeast Asian markets would add a further THB60m in sales, principally of sushi products.

“Now we’ll concentrate on our business in the South Korean market, as market growth for sushi items in Japan is steady,” president Tetsuo Matsumoto was quoted as saying. “We’ve got several Korean buyers for sushi toppings, mostly to be distributed in restaurants and supermarkets.”

K&U, which produces ready-to-eat Japanese food, was formed in August 2006 as a 50/50 joint venture between leading Thai processed food group Union Frozen Products (UFP) and Japanese group Kyokuyo.

The company produced 3,500 tonnes of sashimi and frozen sushi between August 2006 and June 2007. In its first year, Japan accounted for 83% of sales, the US, Canada and Europe combined represented 9%, and domestic sales in Thailand 8%.

The company expects total revenues to increase by 15% in the current fiscal year to THB1.75bn.