9 Feb 2010 19:15

Finnish Valio boosts Russia sales 20% in 2009

MOSCOW. Feb 9 (Interfax) - Finnish dairy producer Valio boosted sales in Russia to 71,600 tonnes in 2009, up from about 60,000 tonnes in 2008, the company said in a statement.

The Russian dairy products market was a difficult one in 2009, with declining demand due to the financial crisis, new technical regulations for milk and dairy products and exchange rate fluctuations.

Valio had about a 14% share of the butter market and 18% of the spreadable cheese market in 2009, according to the Nielsen research group. That compares with market shares of 14.3% and 16.7% respectively in 2008.

Valio, founded in 1905, includes 22 dairy cooperatives and about 11,000 farms. It operates 15 plants in Finland, two in Estonia and one in Belgium. The company first exported product to Russia in 1908. It opened a representative office in St. Petersburg in 1994.