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Food product maker Ajinomoto Co. said Friday it will postpone the establishment by March 2012 of a subsidiary in Egypt due to unrest in the country.

“We believe the confusion will not last for a long time,” Ajinomoto President Masatoshi Ito said. “We want to set up the subsidiary by the end of March 2014, while assessing the situation.”

The Egyptian unit was expected to explore the local and neighboring markets.

The firm also announced plans to boost its group operating profits by expanding business to emerging and developing markets under a three-year plan starting in April.

Ajinomoto said it aims to achieve a group operating profit of ¥87 billion in fiscal 2013, compared with ¥69 billion projected for fiscal 2010, which ends next month.

“While building up our foundation in the domestic market through value-added (products), we will expand our business by focusing on growing emerging and developing markets,” Ito told reporters.

Ito said the company will focus its research and development resources on seasonings and cutting-edge biotechnology, including medical technology, to pursue growth.

To strengthen research and development, the company will set up bases in Asia, the United States and Europe in the next three years in addition to ones in China and Russia, Ito said.

The company plans to spend ¥180 billion on capital investment in the three years starting in fiscal 2011.

Ajinomoto said it aims to raise its ratio of overseas sales to 35 percent in fiscal 2013 from the current 31 percent and lift the ratio of overseas profit to 62 percent from the current 59 percent.

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