UB ceo Martin Glenn said at the end of January he wanted to grow international sales to 20% of total turnover within three years. He was speaking at the launch of a £12M marketing campaign to relaunch its McVitie's brand.
However, following its purchase of a stake in A&P Foods, the maker of brands such as Jacob's crackers and Twiglets said earlier this week the deal had achieved the target within a matter of weeks.
UB confirmed its international sales had tripled since 2006. Africa, China, India and the Middle East represent two thirds of that portion, according to the firm.
UB had a presence in Nigeria for decades, with products either exported there or made locally under licence, it said in a statement.
Jeff van der Eems, ceo for UB International, said:“The Nigerian market has strong potential for UB. It is Africa’s most populous country and the biscuit market is projected to continue to grow at double digit rates. Our McVitie’s brand is already well established and enjoyed by people through out Nigeria and Africa.
"We are delighted to be working with A & P Foods and believe that this investment led by the A&P founder, Sameer Vaswani, will give us a great platform for further growth in this thriving market.”
A&P Foods ceo Sameer Vaswani said: “We are delighted that UB is investing in A & P Foods. A combination of our regional knowledge and a global biscuit brand such as McVitie’s puts the company in a position where it can grow strongly in the local market.”
The purchase represents the company's second international financial investment in an overseas business in six months. UB announced in October that it had snapped up the assets of Saudi Arabia's Rana Confectionery Products.
UB sells its McVitie's brand in more than 100 countries.