G. Willi-Food recorded a decline in net income during 2010 despite booking an increase in sales.

The Israeli food company said today (21 March) that net income was down 4.3% during the year to NIS31.5m (US$8.9m), despite sales rising 14.8% to NIS348.4m. The redution was due to a one-off gain booked in 2009 following the completion of a tender offer for Gold Frost’s shares.

Excluding the gain, net income would have been up 14.7%, while operating income would have risen 20.2%.

Gross profit was up 20.1% to NIS100.8m, while gross margin improved 28.9% against 27.6% in 2009.

G. Willi-Food president and COO Zwi Williger said: “Fiscal 2010 was a very strong year for Willi Food. For six consecutive quarters, we have grown sales and gross profits while controlling SG&A expense growth. Fourth quarter operating income grew nearly 30%, despite the well-known pressures in commodity costs being felt around the world. Throughout 2010 we introduced great-tasting, higher margin food products, which we develop together with our suppliers.”

Looking into 2011, Williger said the company is “confident” it can deliver sales and profit growth, adding that he believes “momentum will continue to build in recently introduced products, and several new product line introductions can further boost sales”.

He said that the company is “understandably cautious” regarding ongoing commodity price inflation, but that it is “well positioned to limit any impacts”.