06th Mar, 2007

A Fine Mix of Chocs and Wines

Focus Network Agencies (FNA) was born in 1991, when duty-free retailer DFS closed its chocolates trading division. Mrs Esther Tang-Loo, currently FNA’s Executive Director, was heading the division at the time and decided to take over the business. From a five-person business worth about $1 million, FNA has become a company with a staff strength of over 100 in Singapore alone, and revenue of $65.7 million in FY2006, about 24% up from $53 million for 2005. FNA’s strength is in duty-free distribution, which accounts for over 50% of the company’s distribution business. At the same time, FNA saw the importance of diversification and expansion that focuses on “emerging markets”. Most importantly, FNA owes its success to being dynamic and adaptable, along with good timing. Although FNA is not a household name, its retail brand The Cocoa Trees is certainly well known. Since its launch in 1999, The Cocoa Trees retail concept has grown to 16 stores in Singapore, two in Malaysia and three in Indonesia. An airport concession has also been established in Vietnam.