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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Wrigley Plans 2nd Gum Plant

The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, the world's largest maker of chewing gum, said Tuesday that it might build a second factory in Russia and acquire local producers to tap "double-digit" growth that is exceeding expectations.

"We're open to more acquisitions in Russia,'' said Igor Savelyev, Wrigley's chief for Eastern and Southern Europe. "There's huge growth opportunity."

Savelyev said the company would decide on the site for the plant next year, Interfax reported. He added that the company would also consider growth through acquisition, although it did not have any specific projects in mind.

Savelyev said Wrigley also planned to expand its St. Petersburg plant. The firm will invest $100 million into each project and hopes to receive support from local authorities in gaining access to infrastructure, he said, Interfax reported.

Wrigley, the maker of Doublemint and Big Red gum, entered the domestic market in the early 1990s and has operated a plant in St. Petersburg since 1999.

The country's chocolate market is worth $3.7 billion, the company said in January, when it agreed to buy 80 percent of A. Korkunov, Russia's seventh-biggest confectioner.

Wrigley's sales growth in Russia is stronger than in the United States and Asia. In the second quarter, Russia and Eastern Europe led gains in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, which accounted for almost half of the period's total revenue of $1.38 billion.

Bloomberg, MT