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Wimm-Bill-Dann net profit rises 500% to $17.4 million in 1Q06


MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods (NYSE: WBD) said Thursday its net profit in the first quarter of 2006 calculated to US GAAP had risen 500% year on year to $17.4 million.

The company, which has 30 plants making juice and dairy products in the former Soviet Union, said its group sales had risen 18.4% year-on-year to $385.7 million, gross profit grew 35.7% to $113.7 million, with gross margins increasing to 29.5% from 25.7%.

Tony Maher, chief executive officer of Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods OJSC, said: "I am very pleased with the excellent results we posted in the first quarter of 2006. Sales grew by an impressive 18%, the growth was almost entirely organic. For the first time in many quarters, we saw gross margin recovery for the group as a whole."

The operating income of Wimm-Bill-Dann, which was founded in 1992 and employs more than 17,000 people, grew threefold to $29.7 million. Adjusted EBITDA doubled to $44.3 million, adjusted EBITDA margin increased to 11.5% from 6.7%.

In 2002, Wimm-Bill-Dann became the first Russian consumer goods producer to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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