In the same period, sales increased by 22.5 per cent to €134.5m compared with €109.8m in 2007.
All divisions improved their operating results and Raisio’s forecast was unchanged but Raisio noted challenges that included, “general economic uncertainty, changes in the food industry, as well as the increasing cost pressure affecting trade, industry and producers.”
Looking forward,Raisio said all divisions are expected to remain profitable “although the pressure on profitability will continue in feed”.
The company said: “The overall operating result in the Food Division is expected to be profitable, although the target operating result rate of five per cent will probably not be achieved due to increased marketing inputs, new product launches and preparations for entry into new markets. The Ingredients Division is expected to increase its net sales and improve profitability from the previous year.”
Raisio also received a non-operating boost when a court decided it did not have to pay tax on a 2004 divestment of its chemicals division that turned a profit of €220m.
Raisio produces the Benecol plant stanol, cholesterol-lowering ingredient as well as Benecol cholesterol-lowering food range it sells in more than 30 countries. The range includes margarines, spreads, cream cheese-style spreads, yoghurts, yoghurt drinks, cereals, milk and soy drinks, pasta and olive oil.
Raisio had sales of €422m in 2007. The Finnish-based firm employs 1100 people in nine countries. It specialises in functional foods ingredients, feeds and malts.