Lassonde Industries said its profits remained flat in the first-half amid what the Canadian food group "strong competitive pressures".

For the six months ended 3 July, net earnings remained unchanged from the C$13.1m (US$12.7m) reported in fiscal 2009.

Net sales increased 7% to reach C$259m, while operating profits rose 2.3% to C$20.9m.

"The company has noted strong competitive pressures in all of its Canadian markets mostly reflected in higher trade spending," the firm said. "Lassonde Industries relies on its innovative products to fuel its growth and stand out from its competitors."

In the second quarter, earnings edged up to C$7.3m, a $0.1m increase on the prior year, while operating income grew from C$11.2m to C$11.3m last year.

The company's net sales however, dropped to C$133.3m, down C$3.8 from the second quarter of 2009. The decrease was mainly due to higher trade spending and unfavourable exchange rates.