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Food Empire's losses widen in Q4

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FOOD Empire sank deeper into the red in the fourth quarter, as weak oil prices and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continued to take a toll on the group.

FOOD Empire sank deeper into the red in the fourth quarter, as weak oil prices and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continued to take a toll on the group.

The group saw its losses for the three months ended Dec 31 widen to US$12.1 million, from US$226,000 a year ago.

Its revenue tumbled 22.3 per cent to US$57.6 million.

For the full year, the group recorded a net loss of US$13.2 million, down from a net profit of US$11.7 million in the 2013 financial year, due mainly to the impact of foreign exchange losses in two of its key markets, Russia and Ukraine.

This came on the back of a 5.1 per cent slip in revenue to US$249.5 million.

Both the Russian ruble and the Ukrainian hryvnia have weakened substantially against the US dollar.

The group cautioned that it may take steps to rationalise its operations in the two markets if the situation continues, but also noted that its diversification into other markets such as Asia is "showing progress".

Food Empire has not declared any dividend for the 2014 financial year. In 2013 it distributed 0.563 Singapore cents per share in dividends.

Shares in Food Empire fell one cent to S$0.3 on Monday, before the results announcement.