April 9, 2015 / 8:42 AM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-Russian farming conglomerate Rusagro posts record earnings

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MOSCOW, April 9 (Reuters) - Russian farming conglomerate Rusagro Group made a record profit last year, having reaped the benefits of a national ban on Western agriculture products and the decline of the rouble.

The company, a producer of pork as well as sugar and oil fats, said on Thursday net profit for the year jumped to 20.2 billion roubles ($385 million) from 3.2 billion roubles in 2013.

Sales in its meat segment rose 139 percent, driven by increased prices following Russia’s import ban, imposed in August in response to international economic sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis, and higher sales volumes after the launch in 2013 of new pig breeding facilities.

Sales in the sugar segment grew 32 percent as a result of increased volumes and prices. Local sugar prices are linked to the dollar quotes on commodity exchanges and when the rouble shrank last year, local rouble prices rose sharply.

Rusagro said its fourth-quarter net profit rose almost sixfold to 7.7 billion roubles and adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation grew 79 percent to 6.8 billion roubles.

It said its board had proposed a final 2014 dividend of 130.03 roubles or $2.35 per ordinary share, and 26.01 roubles or $0.47 per global depositary receipt, totalling 3.1 billion roubles.

The company is listed in London as Ros Agro Plc and controlled by the family of Vadim Moshkovich, a member of the Federation Council upper house of parliament. It had earlier paid 2 billion roubles in interim dividends for the first half of 2014.

Its shares were up 2.3 percent by 0827 GMT. ($1 = 52.5160 roubles) (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Alexander Winning and Timothy Heritage)

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