Wimm-Bill-Dann 1H06 U.S. GAAP net profit rises 460% to $46.7 mln

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MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) - Wimm-Bill-Dann [LSE, NYSE: WBD] said Tuesday its net profit in the first half of 2006, calculated according to U.S. GAAP standards, rose 460%, year-on-year, to $46.7 million.

The company is a leading producer of soft drinks and dairy products in Russia, comprising 30 production plants located in Russia and other former Soviet republics.

Sales increased 19.4% in the reporting period, to $813.6 million, gross profit went up 35.2% to $253.8 million and operating profit grew 150% to $75.1 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) soared 85.3%, to $104.9 million.

Wimm-Bill-Dann Board Chairman Tony Maher was upbeat about the company's performance, attributing the sales growth almost entirely to the successful financial results in the milk and baby food divisions.

Maher also said the company expected its performance in the soft drinks division to improve gradually with a new team of experienced and highly professional managers.

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