Grocery and liquor wholesale distributor and marketer, Metcash Limited has announced that, for the six months ended 31 October 2005, earnings before interest and tax grew to A$96.2m (US$71m) from $91.8m in the same period a year before.

Profit after tax and goodwill amortisation, but before costs associated with the recent capital re organisation and the acquisition of Foodland Associated Limited’s Australian assets increased was $56.8m, compared with $50.1m a year ago.

Each of the three Metcash businesses performed strongly during the half year, the company said. The higher fuel prices in this period have had a positive impact on supermarkets, as consumers spend more money on home prepared food and less on restaurants and fast food outlets, whilst the convenience sector supplied by Campbells has seen the negative affect of reduced discretionary spending.