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ISRAEL – Strauss Group posts 4.8% organic growth in first quarter

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PETAH TIKVA – Strauss Group posts 4.8% organic growth in first quarter of 2014 excluding the FX effect, thanks to the operations of Strauss Israel and most international growth drivers.

Gadi Lesin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Strauss Group, said today (May 27, 2014): “Faced with a challenging quarter in our home market and the international arena, the Group posts sound results that attest to significant capabilities in coping with a changing geopolitical (Russia, Ukraine) and economic reality.

Strauss Israel has displayed solid performance despite softness in consumption in Israel thanks to effective marketing effort and product innovation, as well as the beneficial effect of the timing of Passover this year. Três Corações (1) (a JV in Brazil) and Sabra (a JV in the USA and Canada) have continued to post strong operating results and consolidate their competitive position.”

Q1 2014 highlights (2)

  • Organic sales growth, excluding the FX impact, was 4.8%. Sales were c. NIS 2.0 billion (similar to last year), a decrease of 2.0%, reflecting c. NIS 131 million negative translation differences as a result of continued strengthening of the NIS versus other operational currencies of the Group.
  • Gross profit was c. NIS 790 million (40.0% of sales), an increase of 3.0% compared to the corresponding quarter. Gross margins were up 1.9%.
  • Operating profit (EBIT) totaled c. NIS 204 million (10.3% of sales), a decrease of 4.8% compared to the corresponding quarter. EBIT margins were down 0.3%.
  • Earnings per share were c. NIS 0.93, a decrease of 3.9% compared to the corresponding quarter.
  • Cash flows from operating activities were c. NIS 15 million, compared to 0 in the corresponding quarter.
  • Net debt as at March 31, 2014 totaled NIS 1,598 million, compared to NIS 1,521 million on March 31, 2013 and NIS 1,475 million on December 31, 2013.

(1) Três Corações (3C) – a company jointly held by the Group (50%) and by a local holding company, São Miguel Holding e Investimentos S.A. (50%) (data reflect Strauss Coffee’s share (50%) unless stated otherwise).

(2) Based on non-GAAP data, according to management reports, which include the proportionate consolidation of jointly-held partnerships (without implementation of IFRS 11) and do not include share-based payment, valuation of the balance of commodity hedging transactions as at end-of-period, and other income and expenses, unless stated otherwise.

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