Finnish dairy company Valio today (Thursday) announced a sharp jump in profit for  2004, pushed higher by the sale of parts of its business during the year.

Profit before extraordinary items and taxes was 60 million euros (US$78.4 million), compared with 12 million euros in 2003. The profit figure was increased by business sales, the company said. Net turnover was up just 1% at 1,581 million euros. Turnover had been cut by the sale of the company’s ice cream and baby food operations in September, it said.

The strongest growth in turnover was in Estonia, Valio said. Its subsidiary there, Võru Juust, operated as a Group company for the whole year, as opposed to two months in 2003. “Net turnover was also up for Finlandia Cheese Inc. operating in the US, while that of ZAO Valio St. Petersburg in Russia fell,” it said

The company’s milk intake share of Finnish dairy milk volumes stood at 82% compared with 80% in the previous year.