Israeli food maker Strauss Group posted a loss in first-quarter earnings today (25 August), hurt by a decline in sales and one-time factors.

Income for the period dropped to NIS74m (US$19.5m) from NIS84m in the comparable period of 2008.

Operating profit also dipped to NIS135m from NIS137m in the prior year. The drop was due to lower operating profit for the company's coffee sector. Pre-tax profit, however, increased 5% to reach NIS134m.

Ofra Strauss, chairman of Strauss Group, said: "Strauss showed continued sustainability while navigating unprecedented macro challenges. Throughout the quarter we continued to strengthen our core foundations for growth while enhancing our long term standing and sustainability".

Net sales for the period edged up 1.2% to NIS1.52bn.