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Sojaprotein’s 2011 Net Rises 44%; Dinar Counters Sales Drop

Sojaprotein AD, the biggest soybean processor in the Balkans, said profit jumped 44 percent in 2011 as the stabilizing dinar countered a sales decline that came as a result of a shift in the company’s product portfolio.

Novi-Becej, Serbia-based company’s net income rose to 1.14 billion dinars ($13.6 million) from 792 million dinars in 2010. Sales declined 18.2 percent to 11.67 billion dinars, and earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization fell 25 percent to almost 1.4 billion dinars, the company said in a filing to the Belgrade Stock Exchange.

Sales had a “temporary” setback as the company switches to soy protein concentrates from lower-valued meal, even though the bottom line was aided by a 0.8 percent gain in the dinar against the euro over the year, compared with a 10 percent drop in the year before. Revenue abroad should turn around as a new concentrates factory opens in April.

“Last year was a period of transition,” said Ivan Dzakovic, head of Research and Analysis at Sinteza Invest Group, a Belgrade-based brokerage. The refocusing will result in better prices for “its more-refined, higher-quality products.”

The new plant is expected to reach full capacity of 70,000 metric tons a year in 2013. It will rely on Sojaprotein’s annual supply of about 230,000 tons of locally produced, genetically unaltered soy. Growing genetically modified foods is banned in Serbia.

Sojaprotein revised the cost of the investment to 26.5 million euros ($35 million) from 22 million euros. Interest-bearing liabilities rose 20 percent at the end of 2011 to 5.24 billion dinars, from 4.35 billion dinars a year earlier.

The soybean meal, once Sojaprotein’s main product, will probably be discontinued in this year, Dzakovic said. It accounted for almost 60 percent of the output in 2011.

The share price rose 0.55 percent to 553 dinars in Belgrade today.

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