G. Willi-Food income down sharply in year

by Allison Sebolt
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YAVNE, ISRAEL — For the year ended Dec. 31, G. Willi-Food International Ltd. posted net income of $511,000, equal to 5c per share on the common stock, down 93% from $7,400,000, or 82c per share, during the previous year.

Sales for the year were $64,923,000, up 30% from $49,800,000 during the previous year.

"Fiscal 2007 has been a very challenging year for Willi Food," said Zwi Williger, president and chief operating officer. "A combination of steep price increases in agricultural commodities, short supply of agricultural commodities and increased demand of agricultural commodities have negatively impacted the food industry. In light of this fact, Willi Food has taken the appropriate measures to position the company for a stronger fiscal 2008."

The company made several acquisitions in 2007, including the operations and assets of Laish Israeli Food Products. In addition, the company announced intentions to purchase Shamir Salads.

"We anticipate that these acquisitions will propel Willi-Food’s ability to expand its global market share," Mr. Williger said. "We have already executed our first U.S. dairy purchase order in the first quarter of 2008 through the acquisition of a Danish cheese distributor that holds a U.S. import license. It is our intention to expand our chilled and frozen line of dairy products globally when the price for raw materials stabilize and the market accepts the new prices for dairy goods. We continue to seek smart acquisitions in strategic countries."

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