Russian dairy products and fruit juice company Wimm-Bill-Dann has reported a 22.3 per cent increase in sales for 2002, marking the fourth consecutive year of growth at the company since the Russian financial crisis in 1998.
Turnover reached $824.7 million (€779m) in 2002, with the dairy unit accounting for $563 million (up 16 per cent) and juice some $261.7 million (up 38.4 per cent). Volume growth in dairy was 11.7 per cent, of which 9.7 per cent was organic growth, while juice volumes were lifted by a 45.4 per cent organic increase.
Gross profit at the group was ahead 34.9 per cent, while operating profit increased 9.1 per cent to 9.1 per cent year-on-year. Net profits were up 12.3 per cent.
Sergei Plastinin, CEO of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods, said: "Last year was a momentous one for Wimm-Bill-Dann, beginning with our listing in February 2002 on the NYSE.
"In 2002, we embarked on an aggressive strategy of expansion to enter and bolster our presence in Russia's fast-growing regional markets, which included a number of acquisitions and the start of a major upgrade of our production facilities.
"Looking forward, we see 2003 as a year of intensive investment in modernisation and reorganisation, as we consolidate the newly acquired companies, while continuing to focus on operational efficiency."