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Israel foodmaker Strauss Q3 profit up on dips, coffee business

JERUSALEM, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Israeli food and drinks maker Strauss Group reported a 17 percent rise in quarterly profit boosted by income at its international coffee and its spreads and dips business.

Strauss said on Tuesday it earned 81 million shekels ($22.8 million) excluding one-time items in the third quarter compared with 69 million a year earlier. Sales slipped 1.9 percent to 2.04 billion shekels But excluding exchange rate effects, sales rose 5.7 percent.

Strauss, a maker of snacks, fresh foods and coffee, is a market leader in roast and ground coffee in central and eastern Europe. It is the second-largest company in the Israeli food and beverage market with market share of about 12 percent.

"The group's strong performance in the quarter reflects continued strong operating results by Strauss international operations, alongside growth in Strauss Israel and smart cost management," said Gadi Lesin, Strauss' chief executive.

Global coffee sales fell 9 percent to 954 million shekels but operating profit in the segment grew 24 percent to 108 million shekels.

Sales at its international dips and spreads joint venture half-owned by Pepsico, rose 13.5 percent while operating profit gained 20.8 percent.