Kosher food firm G. Willi-Food International is looking for more customers in the US in a bid to build on "growing demand" for the products in the market.

The business, which makes and sells kosher dairy products as well as salad lines, said it wanted to expand the US presence of its portfolio, which includes over 600 products.

"The dynamics of the industry are driving demand for innovative kosher products, and we believe that Willi-Food has the infrastructure and development expertise to deliver," said president and COO Zwi Williger yesterday (11 November).

"We believe that the health benefits of eliminating animal fats in the 'kosherizing' process in our dairy products makes our products attractive to consumers looking for better tasting, low-cholesterol and low-fat alternatives."

Willi-Food also issued its third-quarter results yesterday, three months that Williger called "an important period" for the business.

"In this current challenging environment, we were able to achieve record margins through, among other things, successfully launching new profitable items into our product lines. We expect to launch additional new products into our product lines in the near future while we continue to develop new and innovative food products," Williger said.

Williger added: "We have also been successful in adjusting the sale prices of our products to consumers in accordance with product prices of our suppliers. That, combined with the depreciation of the US dollar against the NIS, which has led to a reduction of the NIS denominated product purchase prices that we pay to our suppliers, enabled us to increase our gross profits margins."

Willi-Food's third-quarter net income stood at NIS11.5m (US$3.1m) compared to NIS0.6m a year earlier. Operating income reached NIS14.2m - against NIS1.4m in the third quarter of 2008.

Sales, however, dipped 1.1% to NIS68.6m and the rise in profits came in part through lower costs.