14 Sep

Lesieur Cristal H1 profit tumbles on higher costs

RABAT (Reuters) – Moroccan cooking oil producer Lesieur Cristal said on Friday its first-half profit tumbled as world prices for its raw materials rose and olive oil exports slipped.

Net income fell to 11 million dirhams in the first six months of the year from 44 million a year earlier, the unit of Moroccan conglomerate ONA said in a statement.

Sales fell 6 percent to 1.627 billion dirhams and operating profit slumped to 1 million dirhams from 32 million.

Lesieur had warned in March of higher raw material prices and said it was improving industrial techniques and lowering operating costs.

On Friday it said export sales of olive oil were hit by a weak olive harvest and that the high cost of raw oil was only offset by higher selling prices from the second quarter.

“The second half should see a continued increase in raw oil and seed prices, at least until the next American soya harvest in September,” it said.

Lesieur shares were down 2.6 percent at 831 dirhams on the Casablanca stock market at 1352 GMT, underperforming the benchmark MASI index which was up 1 percent.

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