Vimm-Bill-Dann net down 36% as higher raw milk costs take toll

Vimm-Bill-Dann Food Products has reported a drop in net profits for the first nine months of 2003 to USD 20.8 million, down 36% as compared with the same period the year before. The company's press office Monday reported 15.6% higher total revenues for the first nine months of the year (USD 684.6 million), with increases of 17.9% in the milk products division (revenues USD 479.5 million) and of 9.7% in juices (total revenues USD 203.8 million), with sales of mineral water totaling USD 1.2 million. The percentages are year-to-year comparisons for the January-September periods of 2003 and 2002.

The company announcement forecast a fourth quarter in the red because of lower than expected sales in the dairy products and juices areas and higher prices for raw milk. The result will be lower net profits for the year than for the first nine months, the company said.

Vimm-Bill-Dann Food Products was founded in 1992 and comprises 23 food-manufacturing plants in 19 cities of Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Its products are sold in Russia, Canada, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States. Its shareholders include the French company Danone and individuals. Its stock is sold on the New York Stock Exchange. The volume of Vimm-Bill-Dann sales for the nine-month period was up 7.2% as compared with the same period of 2002, totaling 1.104 million tonnes.

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