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Croatia’s Fortenova posts its first annual net profit of $73 million

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SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Croatia’s Fortenova Grupa reported a net profit of 523 million kuna ($73 million) for 2021, its first since being saved from bankruptcy in 2018, the food producer and retailer said late on Tuesday.

Fortenova, whose top shareholder is Russia’s Sberbank, reported a 65% jump in consolidated revenue to 31.4 billion kuna.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation or amortisation (EBITDA) rose 52% to 1.955 million kuna after it sold its frozen food business and regained control over Mercator, Slovenia’s biggest food retail chain.

“The key reason behind the success of consolidated results is the fact that the Mercator business has been integrated in the results of the Fortenova Group since May 1 2021,” it said in a statement.

Its positive results continued in the first quarter of 2022, the company said, as its 18 companies recorded a 6% rise in revenues and a 2% increase in EBITDA versus a year earlier.

Formerly known as Agrokor, Fortenova is one of the biggest companies in southeastern Europe. It was saved frombankruptcy in a restructuring deal with local and foreigncreditors in mid-2018, which included a change of name andits ownership structure.

Under its latest restructuring aimed at preventing institutions under sanctions holding stakes of more than 50% individually or together, Sberbank controls 42.51% and Russian No.2 lender VTB 7.39%.

CEO Fabris Peruško said this year the group will launch regional investment worth more than 130 million kuna after it reduced its debt by 4.4 billion kuna in 2021.

Besides Mercator, Fortenova also owns the biggest foodretail chain in Croatia, Konzum, and is present in severalBalkan countries.

($1 = 7.1332 kuna)

Croatia’s Fortenova posts its first annual net profit of $73 million

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