Gauteng Premier’s visit to Aspen is set to boost export growth

07/05/15: Shauneen Beukes

Clayville, Johannesburg – JSE Limited listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (APN), the 5th largest generic company in the world, earlier today hosted a delegation of over 30 government dignitaries at its manufacturing facility where specialised infant nutritional products are produced for local and export markets.

The facility is unique in that it contains highly specialized spray dried capability which enables the manufacture of some of the continent’s leading Infant Milk Formula (IMF) brands such as Infacare, Infacare Gold and the S-26 range. Aspen recently acquired the S-26 portfolio from Nestlé.

The delegation was led by Gauteng Premier David Makhura and the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana, and included Gauteng MEC for Health Qedani Mahlangu and Ekurhuleni Mayor Mondli Gungubele. Government expressed their approval of Aspen’s commitment to the enhancement of local manufacturing, which significantly contributes to provide for increased economic growth and export opportunities in the province. Aspen’s range of IMFs has been earmarked for strategic export markets such as sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and China.

Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive reiterated the Group’s global expansion into various markets including Africa, Europe, South America and Asia. “Aspen has successfully created a business presence on 6 continents and our previously stated objective of increasing our footprint in the Asian and SSA markets is rapidly materializing. China is a key growth area for the Group and its burgeoning population offers significant export opportunities for our infant nutritional and other locally manufactured products”.

Saad said that the Group remained committed to South African economic development through ongoing investment in its manufacturing facilities. A key component of the IMF is the base powder that is currently imported. There are however opportunities for local agro processing of the base powder which will build value linkages across communities, provide a much needed economic boost and also curtail raw manufacturing costs which will result in enhanced competitiveness in export markets. He announced that a further capex has been earmarked for investment at the Aspen Nutritionals site in Clayville in order to increase manufacturing capacity for export markets. The investment would however be dependent upon various factors including local supply, competitive pricing and the review of tariffs on imported blended powder.

“Aspen Nutritionals is one of very few facilities that has invested in specialized spray dried technology required in the manufacture of powdered IMF. The quality of our products continues to meet the highest international accreditation standards, which has enabled us to significantly increase our export base”, added Saad.

Stavros Nicolaou Aspen Senior Executive Strategic Trade said: “Aspen’s objectives are entirely consistent and complimentary to Premier Makhura’s ten point economic growth plan of the province, which include re-industrialisation of the economy, creation of decent employment and the establishment of strategic partnerships”

Aspen’s efforts to develop strategic partnerships for the supply of base powder further promotes trade and investment and supports the growth of key identified economic sectors in that it facilitates environmental sustainability and the efficient use of existing resources.

Left to right: Eric Xayiya, chief political advisor to the Gauteng Premier; Stavros Nicolaou, Aspen Senior Executive Strategic Trade; Minister Senzani Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries; Mayor Mondli Gungubele, Mayor of Ekhuruleni; Stephen Saad, Group Chief Executive and Gauteng Premier David Makhura

Left to right: Eric Xayiya, chief political advisor to the Gauteng Premier; Stavros Nicolaou, Aspen Senior Executive Strategic Trade; Minister Senzani Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries; Mayor Mondli Gungubele, Mayor of Ekhuruleni; Stephen Saad, Group Chief Executive and Gauteng Premier David Makhura