Netherlands-based food group Nutreco today (29 October) hailed an improved performance in the third quarter of the year after a "challenging" first six months of 2009.

The company saw third-quarter revenue drop 8.9% on lower raw materials prices but said that second-half EBITA is expected to be 10% up on last year.

Revenue during the period fell to EUR1.2bn (US$1.77bn), bringing the nine-month total to EUR3.33bn.

Nutreco CEO Wout Dekker said that the company was basing its earnings outlook on higher demand for animal feed and cost savings.

"After a challenging start of the year we see that the results are now in a stronger mode and we have confidence this will continue in the remainder of the year," he said.