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Business news, 23.04.2004 14:37

Dairy producer set to reshuffle industry

Dairy producer set to reshuffle industry WimmBillDann, a Russian juice and dairy products manufacturer listed on the New York stock exchange for two years, aims to become the leader in the St. Petersburg dairy product market. The company's sales in the Northwest grew by 41 percent in 2003, and reached $33 million, WimmBillDann's management said Tuesday at the company's first press conference since WimmBillDann entered the region in mid-2002.

The company announced it is planning to expand customers' perception of dairy goods by offering a variety of innovative products in slim packages with affectionate names.WimmBillDann occupies 25 percent of the local thick yogurts market and 50 percent of the dairy drinks market, said Alexei Kotsegubov, general director of the Baltiiskoye Moloko dairy plant. The plant, formerly called Roska, was purchased by WimmBillDann in August 2002, when it had a share of only 0.5 percent of the region's dairy market.

WimmBillDann invested $6 million in the plant in 2003, and is leasing equipment worth $4 million more, said Pavel Smirnov, marketing director at WimmBillDann's dairy division, Moloko. The St. Petersburg plant is produces 50 percent of WimmBillDann's dairy products on sale in the Northwest, and production capacity is gradually increasing. The goal is to produce 100-percent locally, Kotsegubov said. The plant's potential capacity is 100,000 tons per year.

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