Icelandic convenience food company Bakkavor has posted a 68% rise in first-half profit and forecast further growth for the second half.

The company posted first-half net profit of £8.3m (US$13.5m), compared to £5m in the year-ago period, and below the £8.8m forecast by a Reuters survey of Icelandic banks.

Bakkavor, which recently announced that it had sold all its fishing operations for ISK3.4bn (US$44.4m), said it expects to continue its rapid growth in Britain during the second half of 2003.

The company now operates two subsidiaries in the UK, Katsouris Fresh Foods, based in London, and Bakkavor Birmingham. Bakkavor said sales from its UK operations amounted to £60.4m, an increase of 22% from a year earlier.