New Zealand's largest meat exporter, Richmond, has said it is on track to achieve pre-tax profit of over NZ$22m (US$12.2m) for the year to 30 September.

Profits in January and February were also running ahead of target, the company said.

Richmond chief executive Graeme Milne said management remains focused on achieving its targets despite the distraction of dealing with a takeover offer from rival meat concern PPCS.

"It is critical that we return the company to profitability irrespective of who the ultimate shareholders may be," Milne was quoted by Dow Jones International News as saying.

"Continued dry conditions, currency fluctuations and increased market risks resulting from the situation in Iraq, all provide a degree of uncertainty to the full year outcome," he added.