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Žito Group's Profit Down, Sales Revenues Up in 2011 (adds)

Ljubljana, 28 February (STA) - The group around bread and pasta maker Žito posted a EUR 1.5m net profit in 2011, which is about EUR 1m less than in the year before. Sales were up 4% to EUR 115.7m, the company said on Tuesday.

While sales in Slovenia increased by 4.3% to almost EUR 98m, exports jumped by 11% to almost EUR 18m. Žito's key foreign markets were the EU and the countries of former Yugoslavia.

The core company Žito had EUR 106.3m in sales revenues last year, up 1% year-on-year, while its net profit was down by 34% to EUR 1.7m.

CEO Toni Balažič told the press today that the company planned to increase revenues by another 2.7% this year, while exports should rise by more than 9%. A huge, 180% increase in profit is planned.

Balažič said that the target profit of EUR 3.7m was "a very aggressive goal" considering the prices of inputs and the lowering of purchasing power.

By the end of 2013, Žito plans to move its mill from Ljubljana to Maribor in what will be one of the biggest investment cycles in the past decade.

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