Wimm-Bill-Dann has seen beverage sales plateau in the first three months of this year.

The Russian food and drinks group yesterday (15 June) posted a rise in both total sales and profit, but noted no change in the performance of its drinks portfolio, where sales stayed almost flat for the three months to 31 March at US$73.5m.

The average selling price dipped by 4.5% from US$0.70 per litre in the first three months of 2005 to US$0.67 per litre in the same period this year. The fall was blamed on the higher proportion of less expensive products in the drinks portfolio, in particular the Lovely Garden brand. The gross margin in the Beverages Segment declined to 33.9% from 35.2%, driven by increased prices for concentrates and sugar, as well as decreased average selling price.

Overall, group sales in the quarter were up by 18.4% year-on-year to US$385.7m, while net income increased six-fold to US$17.4m.

Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods manufactures dairy products and beverages in Russia, owning 30 manufacturing facilities in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.