Zetar, the London-listed confectionery and snack foods group, has reported a 17% climb in half-year profits thanks to rising sales.

The company, which focuses on healthy snacks, said EBITDA for the six months to 31 October reached GBP3.5m (US$6.8m). Sales jumped 26% to GBP48m.
 
Operating profit reached GBP2.0m, up from GBP1.9m in 2006. The company said the results were in line with its expectations.
 
"During the period under review our focus has been on consolidation, integration and investment for future sustained earnings growth," said CEO Ian Blackburn. "We are pleased that despite the challenging market conditions, and excluding Baked Snacks' initial losses, the group has maintained its record of successful year-on-year progress."
 
Blackburn conceded that Zetar's Baked Snacks division had incurred losses in its start-up period, but the operation had made "considerable progress" during the period.
 
In December 2007, Zetar raised GBP4m from shareholders to complete its acquisition of Ireland-based premium chocolate producer Lir.