OREANDA-NEWS. May 12, 2012. In the first quarter of 2012 ASTARTA demonstrated strong sales performance in key business segments. Rapid advance in crop sales was the key growth driver. Over 70% of crops were exported, and combined export sales increased y-o-y by impressive 11 times arriving at a record 31% share in the consolidated revenues. Despite remaining weakness in Ukrainian sugar price, a 50% increase in volumes of sugar and sugar by-products sales secured the 6% growth in the segment's revenues. Cattle farming segment demonstrated a strong 54% growth as well.

In 2012, the management intends to continue delivering successful growth in a capital efficient manner. According to a production plan, ASTARTA is expected to produce over 700 thousand tonnes of grains and oilseeds, around 2.5 million tonnes of sugar beet, and more than 80 thousand tonnes of milk. Planned sugar production is higher year over year, still guidance on volumes will be provided later, as amount of third party sugar beet to process depends on pricing environment and market situation.

Comments of Viktor Ivanchyk, CEO:

"ASTARTA's strong financial and market positions secure a solid foundation for the Group's growth. Simultaneously with efficiency enhancements and organic development of existing assets, management actively looks into growth opportunities in synergetic segments and considers possible acquisitions to secure sustainability, synergy and diversification in ASTARTA's development".