French dairy group Bongrain posted stable sales of EUR3.338bn (US$4.448bn) during 2006, while net operating profit increased 9.7% to EUR134.6m and net profit rose 78% to EUR112m.

In a statement released today (16 March) the group said that its French cheese business performed more dynamically in the fourth quarter. Western European and international markets on the whole showed positive results the company said. However, Bongrain added that it has encountered trading difficulties in Central and Eastern Europe as a result of the partial closure of the borders with Russia.

Strong demand for milk powders and proteins compensated both for the weakness of the world market for butterfat and for a renewed deterioration of the market for veal, the company reported.