Belgium-based processed meats and ready meals group Ter Beke has reported higher first-half profits despite lower sales thanks to “strict” cost control.

Ter Beke booked a 22.8% rise in earnings after taxes to EUR3.7m (US$4.9m). EBIT was up 39.8% at EUR6.3m.

The company, which makes products including pre-packed processed meats and chilled lasagne, pointed to its work on costs, with revenue falling 1.6% to EUR199.3m during the six months to the end of June.

Sales of processed meats dropped as Ter Beke ended production of dried and cured lines. Turnover from its ready meals business was up, amid “renewed consumer confidence” in lasagne, compared to the first half of 2013 when the horsemeat contamination saga shook the sector.

Ter Beke said the building of a ready meals factory in Poland was on schedule, with the first lines for markets in central and Eastern Europe set to be manufactured next month.

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