Israel's Strauss Q4 profit falls, to buy Brazil instant coffee firm
TEL AVIV, March 21 (Reuters) - Israeli food company Strauss Group reported a 12 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit on Monday, hurt by currency effects on coffee sales in emerging markets, and announced a coffee acquisition in Brazil.
Strauss said its Tres Coracoes joint venture in Brazil will buy the instant coffee operations of Cia Iguacu, a company owned by Japan's Marubeni Corp.
The acquisition, which needs regulatory approval, would make Tres Coracoes, already Brazil's market leader in roasted coffee, the second biggest player in the country's instant coffee market. Financial details were not disclosed.
Strauss, a maker of snacks, fresh foods and coffee, reported adjusted profit of 74 million shekels ($19.2 million) in the last three months of 2015 against 84 million a year earlier.
Revenue slipped to 1.9 billion shekels from 2.1 billion but was up 4.2 percent excluding negative foreign currency effects due to the strengthening shekel.
Strauss, the second-largest company in the Israeli food and beverage sector, is a market leader in roast and ground coffee in central and eastern Europe and Brazil, where it was hit by the weakening of the Brazilian real and Russian rouble.
Coffee revenue dropped 15 percent to 875 million shekels though excluding foreign currency effects coffee sales rose 9.4 percent.
Sales at its international dips and spreads joint ventures with PepsiCo fell 3.2 percent. ($1 = 3.8561 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen, editing by Louise Heavens)
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