Costs linked to last year's acquisition of French rival Forte Pharma have triggered a 24% drop in profits at Spanish functional-foods firm Natraceutical.

The company posted nine-month net profit of EUR4.4m (US$6.3m), down 23.6% on the year.

However, the Valencia-based firm said gross operating profit soared 47% to EUR15m. Sales were up 77% to EUR120.8m.

Natraceutical, which makes functional ingredients for the dietary, beauty and health sector, said the acquisition of Forte added EUR82m of debt to its balance sheet.

However, the French firm added EUR49m to sales and EUR8m to Ebitda in the nine-month period and Natraceutical said the unit's outlook is very positive.

Natraceutical said it will invest "strongly" to expand Forte across Europe and expand its slimming and nutritional supplement products.