Belgian frozen food group PinguinLutosa has blamed high raw material prices on its disappointing first half results.

The company said yesterday (18 August) that net losses widened to EUR12m (US$17.1m) over the half ended 30 June 2011, against an EUR6.3m net loss in the same period of the previous year.

This fall came despite relatively stable sales of EUR228.1m, compared to EUR228.4m for the six months to 30 June 2010.

EBITDA was also hit hard, with the company reporting a loss of EUR7.2m, down from a EUR2.4m profit in the same period in 2010.

Despite a difficult first half of the year, PinguinLutosa remains positive about the rest of 2011.

A spokesperson said: “Traditionally, the second half of the year is more important than the first half. This seasonality is strengthened by a favourable change in the market conditions.

“In the deep-frozen vegetable division, the proposed increases in sales prices for the new season could be largely realised.”

The company’s share price fell on the back of the news, down 6.43% to EUR8m a share at 10am today.