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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Wimm-Bill-Dann Q1 Earnings Soar by 85%

Itar-TassMen loading a bottle-sterilizing unit at a recently opened Wimm-Bill-Dann children's drink plant in the Kursk region.
Wimm-Bill-Dann, the country's biggest dairy producer and juice maker, said Tuesday that first-quarter profit rose more than analysts had estimated as the company expanded production and demand for dairy products increased.

Net income climbed 85 percent to $32.1 million from $17.4 million one year earlier, the company said in a statement. Revenue advanced 40 percent to $542.8 million, the company said.

Wimm-Bill-Dann and rivals such as Lebedyansky, the country's biggest juice maker, and Nutritek Group, the country's third-largest dairy producer, are tapping higher demand for food and beverages.

Acquisitions contributed 10 percent of revenue growth in the quarter, Wimm-Bill-Dann said. The company last year bought Manros Dairy, the owner of four dairy plants in Siberia, and the Ochakovo dairy factory in Moscow. Sales of dairy products rose 43 percent to $414.2 million.

"Better product mix, particularly in the dairy segment, outstripped higher advertising and transport costs," wrote Alexey Gogolev, an analyst at MDM Bank in Moscow, in a report.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization gained 59 percent to $70.4 million and EBITDA as a percentage of sales increased to 13 percent from 11.4 percent.

The company, which makes more than 1,000 types of dairy products and about 150 varieties of juices, nectars and noncarbonated drinks, raised prices for dairy products by 16 percent in dollar terms in the first quarter, offsetting an 11 percent appreciation in raw milk prices.

The increase in beverage prices also helped offset price rises for juice concentrate and sugar, Wimm-Bill-Dann said. Sales of beverages rose 26 percent to $92.9 million and baby-food sales gained 37 percent to $35.7 million.