PARMA, Italy Italian food company Barilla will spend around 50 million euros (43.31 million pounds) to upgrade the world's largest factory for dry pasta, located near the city of Parma.
The investment comes on top of another 50 million euros the family-owned company earmarked in February to enlarge a separate plant near Parma, which produces pasta sauces.
The group reported total sales of 3.4 billion euros last year, up 2 percent from 2015, with pasta, ready meals and sauces accounting for more than half of its revenue.
The rest came from bakery products, such as biscuits and bread, which had a lacklustre performance last year.
"The company is due to approve a first 32 million investment for the pasta plant in July," Alessandro Spadini, director of the factory told journalists visiting the site on the 140th anniversary of Barilla's foundation.
The 50 million euros in total will be used to enlarge the warehouse and make it more efficient. The plant is expected to produce 350,000 tonnes of pasta this year.
The group reaffirmed a cautious approach on external growth.
"If we find something that really fits us we will look at it," said vice chairman Paolo Barilla, when asked about possible acquisitions. "For now there is nothing on the table."
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Mark Potter)