The devaluation of the hryvna has led Ukraine dairy group Ukrproduct to report a half-year net loss - but better returns from skimmed milk powder helped gross and operating profit.

Ukrproduct, which is listed in London, booked a net loss of GBP2m (US$3.3m) today (24 September), compared to a profit of GBP173,000 a year earlier.

The crisis in Ukraine has caused the value of the country's currency to fall. Ukrproduct said the lower value of the hryvna had increased the cost of imported raw materials but also "potentially affords export opportunities".

Higher demand from overseas helped sales and profits from Ukrproduct's skimmed milk powder business rise year-on-year. Gross profit from SMP more than quadrupled, leading Ukrproduct to report a 5% increase in gross profit to GBP3.9m and post a profit from operations that more than doubled to GBP1.3m.

The improved gross and operating profitability came despite lower revenues, which fell 30% to GBP17.2m. Sales of branded dairy products tumbled 41% to GBP11.3m as input costs led Ukrproduct to up prices.