By increasing its stake in the Obninsk dairy factory, the company now holds a 96.45 per cent share in the operation, which is the largest plant of its kind in the country's Kaluga region. It had previously held a 66.33 per cent stake. The consolidation of its operations is part of Wimm-Bill-Dann's rapid expansion program that has allowed the group to become one of the major players for dairy products in the country. In recent years Wimm-Bill-Dann has been keen to step up pressure on its rivals within the country's burgeoning dairy market. Its sales in the segment rose 31.6 per cent last year to €991m, more than double the combined sales of its infant nutrition and soft-drinks brands. This growth was attributed to investments in dairy production, including untapped markets like Siberia, allowing the group to offset the increasing costs of attaining raw materials like milk. However, while the company continues to reap dividends from expanding in the country, they are no longer alone in increasing focus within the dairy market. Foreign firms have also upped their game in Russia. French group Danone, which bought shares in Wimm-Bill-Dann, claimed recently to hold a near-25 per cent share of the dairy sector and plans to increase output this year.