Strauss Group has revealed that half-year profits have dropped due to high raw-material prices.

The Israel-based food and beverage maker today (17 August) reported a 29.6% slump in net profit to NIS109m (US$31m) for the first six months of 2011. Operating profit was down 12.3% to NIS279m.

Strauss, which makes dips alongside PepsiCo and operates in categories including dairy, confectionery and coffee, said the drop in earnings came despite a 10.3% rise in sales to NIS3.61bn.

Chairperson Ofra Strauss said: “Strauss Group is dealing with complex challenges in Israel and abroad due to the volatility of global markets as characterised by sharp increases in raw material and manufacturing prices. Strauss has taken significant steps to absorb part of these cost increases.”

She also acknowledged public anger at the high cost of living in Israel, which has sparked protests throughout the country.

“Israel is currently in the throes of a public protest over the issue of the high cost of living. We are aware of the importance of this protest and understand that we have an obligation and responsibility to adjust our actions accordingly and in such a way as to try and meet the capabilities of consumers.”
In March, Strauss hailed a “record” 2010. The company said that total revenues rose 7.5%, climbing to NIS6.85bn (US$1.92bn).