Strauss Group Had a Great Year, Even if Its Shareholders Didn't

Revenues soared beyond NIS 5 billion, net profit doubled to NIS 349 million

Strauss Group (TASE:STRS)  today reported excellent results for 2006, mostly because of expanding business.

The company, formerly known as Strauss-Elite, dropped the Elite from its name recently, even though it's one of the oldest and best-known brand names in Israel.

Strauss Group sales rose to NIS 5.2 billion in 2006, compared with NIS 4.2 billion in 2005. That's a billion-shekel difference, or 23%.

Profits doubled to NIS 349 million, Strauss Group reported, but that's thanks to nonrecurring income of NIS 154 million. Part of that resulted from selling the land on which its first chocolate factory had been located, at "Elite intersection" in Ramat Gan.

Investors may be other than thrilled as Strauss Group underperformed the benchmark TA-25 index, but chief executive Erez Vigodman surely can't complain. He received NIS 7.4 million in pay last year, making him one of the most richly rewarded chief executives in Israel.

Strauss Group Stock

Chairwoman Ofra Strauss settled for NIS 3.6 million. Twenty-three senior figures at the foodstuffs company received NIS 10 million combined.

Strauss Group stock has gone nowhere much this year, despite a positive recommendation from Clal Finance analyst Yisca Erez.