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Sojaprotein Profit Slumps 39% as Weaker Dinar Boosts Debt Costs

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March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Sojaprotein AD, the biggest soy bean processor in the Balkans, said profit fell 39 percent last year as a weaker dinar boosted debt servicing costs and asset writedowns increased.

Net income dropped to 689 million dinars ($8 million) from 1.14 billion dinars in 2011, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization surged more than 50 percent to 2.1 billion dinars, the Novi Becej-based company said in a regulatory filing today. Sales increased 23 percent to 14.95 billion dinars, while operating costs climbed 19 percent to exceed 13 billion dinars on higher raw materials prices.

“It doesn’t look good but it’s largely because of the financial expenses” that almost doubled to 1.46 billion dinars, Nenad Gujanicic, chief broker at Sinteza Invest Group, said by phone from Belgrade.

Writedowns soared to 680 million dinars from 34 million dinars in 2011, according to the statement. Debt servicing costs were 482 million dinars, compared with 135 million dinars a year earlier.

Sojaprotein, majority-owned by Victoria Group AD, moved toward higher value products last year when it opened a soy protein concentrates plant with annual capacity of 70,000 tons.

Its shares gained 0.4 percent to 833 dinars in Belgrade trading today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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