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Kernel expects to grow earnings after strong harvest
31 August 2011
WARSAW, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Ukrainian agricultural producer Kernel said its 2011/12 earnings should rise 17 percent, thanks to a bumper harvest that will offset the effect of lower exports.

Ukraine's top edible oil producer and exporter reported a net profit of $54 million in the the three months to end-June, its fourth quarter, compared with a forecast for $57 million. That put its 2010/11 profit at $218 million.

Kernel said on Monday it expected the bottom line to rise to $255 million in 2011/12, with sales up more than a fifth to $2.3 billion.

Kernel said its results were weighed down by the reluctance of Ukrainian farmers to sell at prices that were hit by new export duties and a change in VAT sale tax charges.

"We are nevertheless confident that our expanded operations will be well supported by the sizable harvest in Ukraine," the company said.

"While corn is still in the fields and due to be harvested mostly in September, we estimate the risk of a harvest shortfall at this stage to be relatively low. The sunflower harvest is also due to start shortly, and both Ukraine and Russia are expected to deliver a record crop in excess of 8 million tons for each country," it said.

Kernel's Warsaw-listed shares were nearly flat at 64.70 zlotys, in line with the wider market. The stock has shed 13 percent this year, slightly better than the 16 percent fall by Warsaw's main index.

Source: KyivPost

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