TEL AVIV, May 20 (Reuters) - Israeli food producer Strauss Group reported a 16.8% rise in first quarter net profit, boosted by improved profit margins at its water and international dips businesses as well as by lower tax expenses.
Strauss, a maker of snacks, fresh food and coffee, said on Monday it earned an adjusted profit of 172 million shekels ($48 million) in January-March, up from 146 million a year earlier.
Strauss is the second-largest company in the Israeli food and beverage sector.
Revenue slipped 2.8% to 2.1 billion shekels but excluding foreign currency effects sales fell 0.1%, weighed down by the company’s joint coffee venture in Brazil.
“The joint venture in Brazil experienced some weakness in the quarter, mainly as a result of foreign currency effects and a drop in green coffee prices,” Strauss CEO Giora Bardea said.
Coffee sales fell 9.4% from a year earlier to 894 million shekels, but slipped only 3.7% 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 6.5% to 192 million shekels. ($1 = 3.5756 shekels) (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)