Canadian food manufacturer Premium Brands, best known for its speciality branded products, has reported a slump in second quarter profits to C$600,000 (US$427,000).

Some $4m of this is attributed by the company to the crisis that hit the Canadian beef sector when a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in a cow in Alberta earlier this year.

Sales rose by $1.5m to $68.6m.

The company said that certain products were being reformulated to minimise the impact of the ongoing ban on imports of Canadian beef into Japan and the US.

Premium Brands said it was revising its projected pretax earnings for 2003 to the range of $20-21m range, down from the previously estimated range of $24-25m.