BY JANIE HULSE NAJENSON
BUENOS AIRES — Argentina is well known for its beef but less so for its candy. Yet it is home to one of the world’s leading confectioners. Ranked 143 on Latin Americas Top 500 Companies from Latin Business Chronicle, Argentine candy and food group Arcor is going global. Its 2007 world-wide revenues reached $1.8 billion, an increase of 20 percent from 2006. Net income grew by 19 percent to $62.2 million.
The majority of sales were generated within Argentina but with $245 million emanating from other Latin American countries and another $65 million from the rest of the world.
Already ensconced in the U.S. market through manufacturing deals with Wal-Mart, Sara Lee and Brach’s Confections, Arcor is beginning to look east. President and CEO Luis Pagani, son of Arcor’s founder, spent 40 days last year exploring the markets of China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Korea.
Arcor’s primary focus, however, remains its home region. The company operates 41 plants, 31 of which are in...