26 de noviembre de 2014 / 8:23 / en 3 años

Israeli food maker Strauss profit up on overseas sales of coffee

TEL AVIV, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Israeli food and drinks maker Strauss Group reported higher quarterly net profit, boosted by growth in international sales of coffee and dips as well as income from currency hedging transactions.

The company earned an adjusted 119 million shekels ($31 million) in the third quarter, up from 81 million a year earlier, it said on Wednesday. Sales rose 4.8 percent to 2.1 billion shekels.

Strauss, a maker of snacks, fresh foods and coffee, is a market leader in roast and ground coffee in central and eastern Europe and Brazil. It is the second-largest company in the Israeli food and beverage market.

Coffee sales rose 6.7 percent to 1 billion shekels, led by an 8.6 percent increase in international coffee sales. Coffee sales in Israel, where the food market is slowing, fell 2 percent.

Sales at its dips and spreads joint venture Sabra, which is half owned by PepsiCo, gained 7.3 percent.

“The forex challenges that were typical of the last three quarters were met with the right financial response, leading to an improved net profit,” said Gadi Lesin, Strauss chief executive.

The shekel has strengthened against the dollar in the first part of the year, hitting a three-year high in July, but in the past two months it has weakened.

Lesin said the company would double production of Sabra dips and spreads in the United States and expand its coffee businesses in Brazil and Romania. (1 US dollar = 3.8559 Israeli shekel) (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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