UK-listed, Ukraine-based dairy group Ukrproduct has booked another year of losses but said it had been “encouraged” by its start to 2017, with sales up on the same time 12 months ago.

Ukrproduct made a loss of GBP1.5m (US$2m) in 2016, down from the GBP3.9m it generated a year earlier. The company posted a loss from operations of GBP195,000, compared to GBP1.3m in 2015. Ukrproduct said gross margins ” improved in most product lines apart from skimmed milk powder”.

Sales were flat year-on-year at GBP20.2m when measured by sterling, rising 3% to UAH693m (US$26.6m) when calculated in Ukrainian hryvnia. Ukrproduct said it focused more on branded products, pointing to the “key categories” of butter and spreads showing improved volume and margins.

Ukrproduct said 2017 had “started encouragingly”, with revenues and gross margins up on 2016. “Ukrproduct will continue to work towards profitability with cash flow remaining the priority,” it said.

Earlier this month, Ukrproduct announced it had obtained waivers from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development over debt ratio covenant breaches in a loan agreement with the bank announced in 2016

Alongside the publication of Ukrproduct’s 2016 results yesterday (29 June), the company said the first two tranches of capital repayments to the EBRD had been made. “A capital reorganisation to simplify the group structure is being implemented as required by EBRD,” it added.