Profits Surge for Israeli Food Firm Strauss

Israel's second largest food and beverage company also announced that former CEO of Bank Leumi, Galia Maor, would be joining the group's board of directors.

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Israeli food and drinks maker Strauss Group posted sharply higher first quarter net profit, boosted by income at its international coffee and its spreads and dips operations as well as by lower expenses and streamlining measures.

The company said on Monday its net profit excluding one-off items jumped to 103 million NIS ($27.8 million) from 65 million in the same period last year.

Sales slipped 2.5 percent to two billion NIS, due to a 13 percent erosion in the value of the Brazilian real against the shekel.

Strauss, a maker of snacks, fresh foods and coffee, is a market leader in roast and ground coffee in central and eastern Europe. It is the second-largest company in the Israeli food and beverage market with a 12.1 percent market share.

Strauss announced also that former CEO of Bank Leumi, Galia Maor, would be joining the group's board of directors. With her inclusion, women will constitute over forty percent of the directorate's makeup.

"Strauss's international activity continues to prove itself and improve its profitability despite significant fluctuations in exchange rates," Chief Executive Gadi Lesin said in a statement. "At the same time ... our operation in Israel continues to show positive results."

Global coffee sales fell 5.6 percent to NIS 989m though operating profit in the segment jumped by nearly 45 percent. Coffee sales were also hurt by a decline in exports of green coffee from its Tres Coracoes joint venture in Brazil.

Sales at its international dips and spreads joint venture half-owned by PepsiCo grew 11 percent in the quarter as operating profit surged 64 percent.

Chairwoman of the Management Board of The Strauss Group, Ofra StraussCredit: Ofer Waknin
Michael Strauss, left, and Galia MaorCredit: Moti Kimchi

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