Sales, profit rise at Israeli food group Strauss

Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:18am EST

* Q3 adjusted net profit 69 mln shekels vs 61 mln shekels

* Sales up 3.1 pct to 2.1 bln shekels, coffee sales up 2.7 pct

TEL AVIV Nov 21 (Reuters) - Net profit at Israeli food and drinks maker Strauss Group rose 14.5 percent in the third quarter, boosted by higher sales of coffee and its spreads and dips joint venture with PepsiCo.

Quarterly net profit excluding one-time items rose to 69 million shekels ($17.6 million) from 61 million a year earlier, Strauss said on Wednesday.

Sales rose 3.1 percent to 2.1 billion shekels, buoyed by a 2.7 percent rise in its coffee business and a 34.2 percent jump in sales at its Sabra joint venture with PepsiCo.

"The group continues to contend with challenges in its home market in Israel and is implementing dozens of internal streamlining processes," President and Chief Executive Gadi Lesin said.

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 an 11.9 percent share.

Global coffee sales rose to 1.05 billion shekels, boosted by growth in most of the geographical areas in which it operates except for Brazil, where sales fell 3.4 percent. After neutralising the impact of exchange rates, global coffee sales grew 7.6 percent.

Sales at Strauss Water, which makes drinking water purification systems, grew 5 percent to 112 million shekels.

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