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03 March 2010

Kiev, Ukraine – 3 March, 2010 – Ukrproduct Group Ltd (“Ukrproduct” or the “Group”) (AIM: UKR), one of the leading producers and distributors of branded dairy products in Ukraine, today announced its sales volumes for 2009, ahead of announcing its full year results in April 2010.

The Group witnessed a material slowdown in the Ukrainian economy in the second half of 2009. Ukrproduct’s full year aggregate sales volumes (in tonnes) were slightly below the previous year, impacted by the significant shortage of raw milk and other raw materials in the second half of 2009, which led to lower output.

In ‘000 tonnes 2009 2008 Year on Year Performance
Branded products 19,292 23,395 (17.5%)
SMP 8,958 5,471 63.7%
Total 28,250 28,866 (2.1%)

Sergey Evlanchik, Chief Executive Officer of Ukrproduct, commented: “Following a recovery in the global market starting from October 2009, Ukrproduct’s sales volumes of Skimmed Milk Powder increased significantly year on year. The Group signed new sales contracts and started shipments of SMP in Ukraine to Dannon, Unimilk and Wimm-Bill-Dann. Sales volumes of butter, Ukrproduct’s largest product group, were below the previous year, however, volumes were up in the second half compared to the first half of 2009. The Group was able to push through price increases in butter and processed cheese in November and December and the average price for branded products increased by 22.3% year on year.

Ukrproduct expects its profitability in the second half of 2009 to be significantly below the first half of the year, as previously indicated in December 2009, following the sharp increase of raw milk prices which has impacted margins. This increase was partially offset by a double digit decline in our administrative, selling and distribution expenses year on year. The Group’s cash position is sufficient to meet current debt obligations in the short and medium term. Ukrproduct maintained its leading market share of packaged butter and processed cheese in 2009. We believe that we have the right strategy for this market and expect to successfully come through this challenging period.” 

Ukrproduct will publish its audited financial results for the full year ended 31 December, 2009 on April 21, 2010.

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