It added that gross profit declined by approximately 30% to €5.2m ($5.9m).
Decline in the gross profit led to almost zero operating profit in Q1 2016 in comparison with a negative operating profit in Q1 2015. The group’s EBITDA increased by 6.7% to approximately €2m ($2.26m) in Q1 2016.
Milkiland said foreign exchange loss remained the key contributor to the net loss of €16.4m ($18.6m) in Q1 2016, compared to the net loss of €35.2m ($39.8m) in Q1 2015.
Milkiland said that while the Russian market remained closed for Ukrainian cheese makers, the Ukrainian dairy market faced competition through the implementation of a Free Trade Zone agreement with the EU.
Russia’s trade barriers led to some oversupply in the EU market, which limited Ukraine’s potential to export dairy products to EU countries.
The company said that because of the closure of the Russian market, there was increased demand for products that were previously imported. As a result, Ostankino Dairy Combine reoriented towards higher value-added products.
Cheese volumes produced by Rylsk, in Russia, almost tripled over the period and contributed to an almost 90% increase in overall cheese volume sales and a 57% increase in cheese value sales in the country.
However, the company said that further depreciation of the Russian rouble and increased operating expenses at Ostankino because of higher land taxation in Moscow led to the decline of the Russian segment’s revenue by 12% to €24.8m ($28.1m).
There was also a decrease of its EBITDA by one-third to €1.9m ($2.2m) in Q1 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
Steady production and sales of cheese in Q1 2016, as well as new distribution channels for Polish-made dry milk products in EU, including the Baltic states, brought profit to the Polish sector.
Results by business segments
Whole milk dairy was the largest segment in terms of revenue and business segments EBITDA, providing 61% of revenue (59% in Q1 2015) and being the largest EBITDA-generating segment in Q1 2016.
The segment revenue declined 19% to €22.3m ($25.2m), while segment EBITDA fell 48% from €2.7m ($3.1m) to €1.4m ($1.6m), reflecting a drop in profitability of the Russian division.
The cheese and butter segment total revenue decreased by approximately 22% to €11.2m ($12.7m) due to volume contraction and operational currencies devaluation. However, the segment generated a positive EBITDA of €0.7m ($0.8m).
In the ingredients and other products segment, revenue decreased by 40% to €2.9m ($3.3m).
Milkiland is an international diversified dairy producer with core operations in the CIS and EU.
It is controlled by Kazakh, Polish and other EU, US and Ukrainian investors through the Dutch public holding company Milkiland N.V.
The group’s production assets are located in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, with a total annual milk processing capacity in excess of one million tons.
Milkiland’s dry dairy products are exported to more than 30 countries.