March 14, 2018 / 7:14 AM / 6 months ago

Israeli foodmaker Strauss posts 34 pct rise in quarterly profit

TEL AVIV, March 14 (Reuters) - Israeli food company Strauss Group reported a 34 percent rise in quarterly net profit, boosted by strong growth in Israel and in its international dips and spreads business.

Strauss, a maker of snacks, fresh food and coffee, said on Wednesday it earned 77 million shekels ($22.4 million) in the fourth quarter, up from 58 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 6 percent to 2.2 billion shekels. Excluding foreign currency effects, organic sales grew 10.2 percent.

Strauss is the second-largest company in the Israeli food and beverage sector.

Coffee sales grew 2.3 percent to 1.1 billion shekels in the October-December period, or 6.5 percent excluding foreign currency effects. Strauss is one of the market leaders for roast and ground coffee in central and eastern Europe and Brazil.

Sales at its international dips and spreads joint ventures with PepsiCo jumped 24 percent as the business recovered from a hummus recall in 2016 over concerns about listeria.

“These excellent results were attained, among other things ... by increasing our investment in innovation, signing new distribution agreements and expanding our geographical reach,” Strauss CEO Gadi Lesin said. ($1 = 3.4313 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)

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