AGRANA starts fruit preparation in Brazil

Ad-Hoc Date: 01.09.2006

AGRANA is expanding its fruit preparation activities in Latin America. In addition to the existing plants in Argentina and Mexico, the Group will now establish a production facility in Brazil.

AGRANA Fruit plans to construct a new plant in Cabreuva, State of Sao Paulo for an initial investment of roughly € 5 million. This facility is scheduled to open during the second quarter of 2007 and will produce approximately 3,000 tons of fruit preparations for the Brazilian dairy industry in the 2007|08 financial year. Forecasts call for an increase in production to approximately 5,500 tons per year beginning in 2008.

AGRANA FRUIT BRASIL LTDA., the new Brazilian subsidiary, will be managed jointly with RICAELI, a Brazilian frozen foods company. RICAELI, a producer of frozen fruits and purees for retail and industrial customers, will hold up to 25 percent of the shares in this company. AGRANA will benefit from RICAELI’s local know-how, especially in the procurement of raw materials and the provision of infrastructure.

“This new production facility in Brazil will fill a blank spot on our fruit preparations map. Brazil, which is by far the largest country in Latin America, is an interesting and important market for us. It is characterized by dynamic growth that is expected to accelerate in the coming years“ commented Johann Marihart, Chairman of the AGRANA Managing Board, on this growth step.

Brazil has a highly developed dairy industry, and milk products and fruit yoghurt play an important role in the diets of the Brazilian population.

“Following the start of our joint venture for the production of apple juice concentrates in China, we are now setting the second strategic milestone of this business year in an important growth market with this project in Brazil. With this step, we are also following our global customers on their expansion into promising markets“, explains CFO Walter Grausam.

The AGRANA Fruit Segment with its fruit preparation and fruit juice concentrate subdivisions currently operates 39 production facilities in 23 countries on all five continents, and will generate roughly 50 percent of total revenues recorded by AGRANA for the 2006|07 Business Year. AGRANA Fruit is the world market leader in fruit preparations for the dairy industry.