The Group achieved net sales of €2,082.8 million during the first nine months, an increase of 6.9% in terms of CAGR 2021/2019, revealing the trust and interest of consumers in the differentiation of our brands and products.
After enduring an €83 million increase in costs, our EBITDA-A stands at €262.5 million, just 1.6% down on Q3 2020. Meanwhile, our Net Profit grew by 5.8% to €155.2 million, pushed up partly by the net gains on asset sales concluded during the period.
By business area, in the Rice Division, high cost increases in the areas of logistics, agricultural and auxiliary raw materials, energy, etc. continued to be the general trend during the quarter. The cost of transporting aromatic rice from Asia alone increased tenfold compared to the previous year. It is worth mentioning the double-digit growth in convenience products and, in this context, the start-up of the macro plant for rice-in-a-cup and other value-added products in La Rinconada is scheduled for the end of the year.
Regarding the Pasta Division, has also been affected by the high cost of ocean freight to the United States, a very important market for the Bertagni and Garofalo businesses, and the high raw materialsprices, owing to the sharp reduction in the North American harvest. From a business point of view, fresh pasta sales maintain their strong growth in Italy, France and Canada.
We have closed an extremely complicated quarter, owing to the relentless inflation of costs (estimated at €52 million for the Rice Division and €31 for the Pasta Division) with the satisfaction of having managed to weather the storm, thanks largely to our strong positions in raw materials, a consolidated portfolio of value-added products, diligent decision-making and the trust of consumers who, in spite of a rather unsettling economic environment, remain true to our brands.
Ebro forecasts a FY turnover of between €2,790 and €2,830 million in 2021, while EBITDA-A is expected to be between €347 and 352 million. These would be highly satisfactory results in the current inflation environment. Stripping out the extraordinary earnings posted in 2020 owing to the positive impact of the pandemic on our businesses, in terms of CAGR 2021-2019 forecasts point to a growth of over 10% in respect of the earnings obtained in 2019.