Australian pie company Patties Foods has booked a drop in first-half profits as margins were hit by increased competition.

Earnings in the six months to the end of December fell 16.5% to A$9.1m (US$9.4m). Patties had forecast the fall in profit at its annual general meeting in December.

EBITDA also fell, by 13.4% to A$18.2m, while net sales were up 5.1% to A$125.5m.

Chairman Chris Riordan said that whilst overall revenue was up, margins were impacted by “increased competitor activity and margin pressure” in its home supermarket channel. Manufacturing performance was also down, he said, due to the “disruption caused by the installation and commissioning of the new robotic packing equipment”.

Nonetheless, the company said it expects net profit for the second half to be “at or above” the net profit for the previous corresponding period.

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By GlobalData