French vegetable group Bonduelle said growth was "steady" for the year to 30 June as it posted a 4.4% increase in turnover.

Consolidated turnover reached EUR1.52bn (US$2.18bn) from EUR1.49bn in the previous year. At current exchange rates, turnover increased 2.3%.

In the company's canned food business, turnover was up by 12.6% at constant exchange rates. Bonduelle said the division remained "highly dynamic" in all geographic areas, particularly Central and Eastern Europe.

The increase was boosted by the incorporation of La Corbeille, a Belgian company, acquired in 2008.

The frozen food business saw a 0.3% increase in turnover, helped by a good performance in its North American division.

The fresh food business however, was down by 6.5% over the year, affectedearly in the period, by the effects of a fire in Italy and bad weather.

"The solidity of the sales business combined with excellent industrial performance and a constant overheads cutback strategy enable the group to confirm operating profitability prospects for 2008/2009 equivalent to that posted in the previous year, consistent with predictions announced," the company said.