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PORTUGAL: Sumolis sees profits head north in 2006

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Portuguese brewer and soft drinks group Sumolis has posted a turnaround in net profit for 2006.

Late last week, the company said it saw consolidated net profit for the year swing into the black from the red in 2005. Net profit came in at EUR2.2m (US$2.9m) in 2006, against a loss of EUR1.3m in 2005. The turnaround came from a 4.5% year-on-year lift in turnover, which hit EUR172.8m.

Most notably, a 32% leap in sales abroad were credited for the rise. Foreign sales hit EUR10.7m, while domestic sales increased by a less impressive 3.4% to EUR144.8m. Sales in France, Switzerland and Angola were most notable in the period, the company said.

Grupo Sumol, the legal name for Sumolis in Portugal, is the parent company behind a number of drinks producers and distributors in Portugal. Its brands include Sumol soft drinks, Serra da Estrela mineral water and Tagus beer.

Late last year, Sumolis confirmed that it was in talks to buy an 80% stake in rival local company Compal. Sumolis already owns a 20% stake in the fruit juice and mineral water producer. When contacted by just-drinks today (26 March), a spokesperson for Sumolis said: "The two sides are still in negotiations. We have no new news, and there is no date for the conclusion of these talks yet."


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