Spanish food company Ebro Foods has posted 26% year-on-year increase in first half sales, according to its latest trading update.
The company's net sales amounted to €1.5 billion in this period.
Ebro has attributed its good performance to the "basic character" of its products, loyalty of consumers, and good management of its procurement efforts, which has enabled it moderately increase prices.
Net income on a like-for-like basis (excluding the contribution of the divested dry pasta businesses, which contributed €40.4 million to last year's first-half results) decreased by 12.4% to €63.5 million, impacted by currency translation differences of €12 million and the loss on the divestment of Roland Monterrat, which amounted to €20 million.
Net income would have increased by more than 8.4% on stripping out the impact of Roland Monterrat divestiture, the company noted.
Net debt stood at €718.8 million, or €214.1 million higher than at year-end 2021.
This figure includes, among others, dividend payments, increases in current assets over the previous year-end, and the purchase of InHarvest.
The company's rice division generated sales worth €1.1 billion, while EBITDA-A amounted to €146.6 million.
Ebro Foods stated that one of the most positive aspects of its rice division is 'the performance of high-value products, such as aromatic, instant, and microwave.'
Elsewhere, adverse weather condition led to a significant reduction in the area planted with Japonica rice in Spain (70% in Andalusia and 90% in Extremadura), California, which has only been able to sow 60% of the area, and Italy, which has also reduced sowing area by 20%.
The company witnessed notable increase in prices of basmati and long rices in the United States.
Turnover in Ebro Foods' pasta division amounted to €329.6 million, while EBITDA-A stood at €29.2 million.
On the business front, Garofalo completed a half-year of growth in the main countries in which it operates, with increases in Italy, France, and Spain.
In the fresh pasta business, profitability in France and Canada was affected by the temporary lag in the implementation of the new tariffs and the lack of personnel in factories.
Bertagni, on the other hand, increased its sales, especially in the United States, where it grew by more than 20%.
With regard to raw materials, durum wheat prices remained above €560 per tonne and, pending the outcome of the end-of-summer harvest in Canada, it is expected that the second half of the year will have high costs, the company said.