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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moulinex Shares Plunge on Russia Concerns




PARIS -- Moulinex SA shares slumped 8.5 percent after chairman Pierre Blayau warned of a "brutal" fall in Russian sales, which account for about one-tenth of the company's revenue.


Shares of the maker of Krups coffee machines, microwaves, vacuum cleaners and tea kettles fell 15.5 French francs ($2.58) to a nine-week low of 167, as concern about Russia overshadowed a sevenfold increase in full-year profit.


"The Russian situation is a serious one, but it's not going to destabilize us," Blayau said.


Moulinex is counting on new markets to boost profit outside of France, where it makes 21 percent of sales. Earnings for the year ended March 31 reached 203 million francs, up from 29 million francs.


Fiscal 1999 has started off on a slow note, Blayau said, singling out Russia as the main culprit. "Russia is in a financial crisis," he said.


"We target the middle class, and when salaries aren't paid, there isn't much that we can do. I don't know when things will pick up," he added.


Finnish beverages group Hartwall on Friday reported January-April profits doubling on a boom in beer sales in Russia, and it predicted further strong growth, despite the country's economic turmoil, Reuters reported.


Hartwall's profit before extras leapt to 144 million markka ($26.8 million) from 69.5 million a year ago, well above the range of analysts' forecasts.


The four-month operating profit was 150 million markka, up from 74 million, as the contribution from Hartwall's joint venture Baltic Beverages Holding, surged to 117.5 million markka from 53.4 million.


Norway's Orkla owns the other half of BBH, which runs nine breweries in Russia, the Ukraine and the Baltics.