Source AP ©

Parmalat SpA's nine-month net profit more than doubles

Nine-month net profit of Parmalat SpA more than doubled, caused by the settlement of legal proceedings relating to its collapse in 2003 and a reduction in borrowing costs.

Net profit rose to 276.3 million EUR(US$406 million) in the first nine months of the year, from 97.3 million EUR in the year-earlier period.

Total revenues rose to 2.82 billion EUR(US$4.15 billion) from 2.68 billion EUR a year earlier, while sales revenues amounted to 2.8 billion EUR(US$4.12 billion), up from 2.65 billion EUR. The company said the 2006 figures were restated to eliminate the impact of the euro's appreciation and in light of the consolidation of some assets.

The improvement in sales was due to higher unit sales for all product categories in South Africa, coupled with an increase in shipments of fruit juices in Italy and Venezuela as well as higher cheese sales in Canada.

Parmalat said in September it was seeking external growth through acquisitions and joint ventures.

It confirmed Wednesday that it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to grow 7-10 percent in 2007.

Parmalat's collapse was Europe's largest corporate scandal.

After a two-year reorganization and a re-listing in 2005, the new Parmalat headed by chief executive Enrico Bondi is on a crusade to recoup billions of dollars from banks in settlements, clawbacks and lawsuits, which have so far poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Parmalat's coffers.

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