Egypt dairy, juice firm Juhayna says net profit falls 23%

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Egypt’s Juhayna Food Industries, one of the country's largest dairy product and juice makers, reported a 23 percent drop in its third-quarter net profit on Monday, hurt by muted sales growth and one-off foreign exchange losses.

Egypt imposed a night-time curfew on Aug. 14 after security forces dispersed protest camps calling for the return of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, who was toppled by the army in July following mass protests against his rule.

“It should come as no surprise - considering recent political and economic upheaval - that our (2013 third-quarter) results fell short of ... our initial expectations,” said Safwan Thabet, Juhayna’s chief executive officer in a statement.

“Particularly problematic ... was the impact of the very early curfew in effect during the period, which substantially curbed traditional shopping hours.”

Juhayna, which counts among its clients EgyptAir, Air France and several large hotel chains, also said its net income was hit by the impact of one-time foreign exchange losses of 4 million Egyptian pounds ($580,700).

Juhayna’s net profit in the third quarter fell to 93 million pounds from 121 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue rose by 4 percent to 876 million pounds, boosted in part by the company’s new yogurt plant in Assiut contributing to a nine-percent rise in yogurt sales.

In the nine-month period through Sept. 30, Juhayna’s net profit rose to 308.2 million Egyptian pounds, helped by higher revenue which rose to 2.49 billion pounds from 2.11 billion a year earlier, the group said in a statement.

Juhayna said its nine-month results were boosted by 38 million pounds in non-recurring revenue due to a re-evaluation of foreign currency assets, but gave no further reason for the improvement in its performance.

Juhayna shares stood at 12.55 pounds at 1330 GMT, down from a previous close of 12.67 pounds.

The Egyptian pound stood at 5.8160 to the dollar immediately before the uprising that swept Hosni Mubarak from power in January 2011, but started to gradually strengthen when Mursi was toppled in July, after hitting a low of 7.0288. It stood at 6.8892 to the dollar on Sunday.

Juhayna, which operates seven factories across Egypt and employs more than 4,500 people, expects to begin production at its new Egyfood yogurt plant and a new dairy farm early next year.