Dips and spreads lift Israeli foodmaker Strauss's third-quarter profit

TEL AVIV, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Israeli food producer Strauss Group reported a 15 percent rise in third quarter net profit, boosted by growth in its home market and in its international dips and spreads business.

Strauss, a maker of snacks, fresh food and coffee, said on Wednesday it earned an adjusted 144 million shekels ($39 million) in July-September, up from 125 million a year earlier.

Revenue fell 2.4 percent to 2.16 billion shekels. Excluding foreign currency effects - mainly the depreciation of the Brazilian real against the shekel - organic sales grew 2.9 percent.

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

Chief Executive Giora Bardea said the company outpaced market growth in Israel, increasing its share of the food and beverage sector slightly to 11.9 percent. That was up from 11.6 percent a year earlier, the company said.

“Revenue and market share growth were achieved, among other things, thanks to new product launches in all divisions,” he said.

Coffee sales fell 9.7 percent from a year earlier to 968 million shekels in the period, but grew 0.9 percent excluding foreign exchange 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 rose 5.1 percent to $196 million.

$1 = 3.6876 shekels Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Susan Fenton