TALLINN - Leading confectioner Kalev reported its nine-month results, showing an 11.5 percent increase in sales to 265.9 million kroons (17 million euros) over the nine-month period ending March 31, 2003.
Consolidated net profit in the first nine months of 2003 amounted to 17.9 million kroons, a decrease of nearly 27 percent compared with the same period in the previous financial year.
The company explained that this drop in net profit was caused by the employment of additional sales staff in August as well as the sudden increase of raw material costs, particularly on cocoa beans.
During the first nine months of the year, the costs of cocoa beans grew by approximately 13 million kroons compared with the same period last financial year.
Regarding sales, it was unclear why the company chose to give nine-month results ending last March, considering that the markets already understand this year's production will be off due to delays in moving the company's production site from the center of Tallinn to the outskirts.
According to a retail sales inventory survey conducted by the market research company AC Nielsen, Kalev's share in the Estonian retail trade was 54.5 percent as at the end of January 2003. This constitutes an increase of 6.2 percent, compared with last financial year.
Kalev's share in the chocolate confectionery group increased by 2.8 percent to reach 58.4 percent.
In the given period, Latvia and the Ukraine remained Kalev's main export markets. In addition to the above countries, the confectionary also exported its products to Russia, Scandinavia and the United States.
In the nine-month period, the company also actively continued the construction of the new plant building in Porguvalja, Rae Parish, Harjumaa. The warehouse for finished goods was completed in the new plant building of Kalev in February 2003. Lastly, the company moved its operations to the new location between May and July and put the new plant into operation in September 2003.