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February 29, 2012

SPAIN: Bertolli owner Deoleo hails recovery

Spanish food maker Deoleo, the company behind the Bertolli olive oil brand, today (29 February) said a "period of instability" had ended at the business after it recorded a profit for 2011.

By Dean Best

Spanish food maker Deoleo, the company behind the Bertolli olive oil brand, today (29 February) said a “period of instability” had ended at the business after it recorded a profit for 2011.

Deoleo, formerly known as SOS Corporacion Alimentaria, booked a net profit of EUR1.1m for last year but it compared to losses of EUR56.5m a year earlier.

The profit came despite falling sales but Deoleo said its margins had improved in the fourth quarter of the year and it also pointed to its success in lowering its debts in 2011.

The company’s sales fell 4.4% to EUR1.11bn last year on the back of falling olive oil prices. However, Deoleo said it had increased sales in emerging markets like Brazil and China.

SOS was renamed as Deoleo last year when the company sold its rice division to fellow Spanish food manufacturer Ebro Foods.

After a challenging three years that saw SOS’s chairman and chief executive depart in the wake of a share scandal and the company making losses in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Deoleo is reshaping its business. It is focusing on fewer categories, has cut jobs and closed a factory in Italy.

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