Benecol maker Raisio, the Finland-based food group, said today (4 August) that problems at its business-to-business division had pushed down profits in the second quarter.

The company booked EBIT of EUR4.5m (US$6.5m) for the three months to the end of June, which was down from EUR5.9m a year earlier. Net sales reached EUR97.8m, which fell from EUR111.6m a year ago.

CEO Matti Rihko said its business-to-business profits had "suffered" from the economic downturn and a salmonella scare.

However, Rihko added: "The feed business has done good work amid the salmonella worries caused by imported feed raw materials, and confidence in Raisio has been restored."

EBIT from Raisio's branded businesses doubled, thanks, Rihko claimed, to the company's strategy for its Benecol brand.

"The volume of Benecol products grew despite the global recession, thanks to a systematically and successfully carried out strategy and a strong brand," Rihko said. "Raisio will make moderate increases in brand construction inputs in its main market areas, since strong brands tend to strengthen in difficult times."