March 21, 2018 / 7:45 PM / a month ago

Dairy group Granarolo posts rising 2017 sales, eyes higher exports

MILAN, March 21 (Reuters) - Sales at Italy’s Granarolo rose 8 percent in 2017 to 1.28 billion euros, boosted by the acquisition of four companies, the dairy group said on Wednesday.

The privately-owned company, which makes milk, cheese, butter and pasta, has bought several foreign food distributors recently, including Britain’s Midland Food Group, to enhance its presence abroad.

Last year nearly one third of Granarolo’s revenue was generated outside Italy, the group said, adding that it aimed to boost its foreign sales to beyond 35 percent in the next two years.

Core profit fell 13 percent to 70 million euros due to rising costs of the ingredients of its products, it said.

Italy’s biggest commercial bank Intesa Sanpaolo has a stake of nearly 20 percent in the Bologna-based group. (Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Ed Osmond)

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