May 28, 2015 / 7:07 AM / 2 years ago

Israeli food maker Strauss Group Q1 profit edges up

TEL AVIV, May 28 (Reuters) - Israeli food and drinks maker Strauss Group reported a slight rise in quarterly profit, as cost-cutting measures offset a dip in coffee sales.

Strauss said on Thursday it earned an adjusted 102 million shekels ($26 million) in the first quarter, up from 99 million a year earlier.

Sales fell 2.1 percent to 1.93 billion shekels but excluding the effect of a strengthening shekel, sales rose 1.8 percent.

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 fell 2.4 percent to 846 million shekels but excluding currency effects sales were up 8.2 percent.

Sales at its international dips and spreads joint venture, which is half-owned by PepsiCo, gained 22 percent.

“Strauss Coffee’s companies in Russia and Ukraine ... are coping successfully and according to plan with the crisis in those countries,” said Gadi Lesin, Strauss’s chief executive.

He said Strauss was implementing streamlining measures that will contribute to its ability to contend with challenges in the Israeli market, where competition is increasing. ($1 = 3.8738 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen)

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