Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods saw profits jump by almost a quarter in 2007 thanks to higher sales and improved margins from its baby food business.

The Russia-based firm booked underlying operating income of US$214m, a rise of 24.5%. Sales climbed 38.4% to $2.4bn.

Sales rose across Wimm-Bill-Dann's businesses, although margins from its dairy unit dipped from 30.5% to 29.2%.

Margins from baby food were up, with sales rising 46.6%. Earlier this week, Wimm-Bill-Dann announced plans to expand the production of Agusha baby food and Imunele functional products in the Omsk region of Russia.

"Our performance was strong for the full year of 2007 despite the raw material cost environment that we faced in the latter half of the year," CEO Tony Maher said today (28 March).