Lotus Bakeries, the Belgium-based baker, has reported a 22% jump in half-year profits thanks to lower financial costs and rising sales.

The biscuit-to-waffle maker posted net profit of EUR12.2m (US$17.4m) for the six months to the end of June – a rise of 22.4% on the year.

Finance costs dropped sharply thanks to a positive impact from currency hedging and the company lapping the costs of a write-down in the first half of 2008.

Marketing costs, however, weighed on Lotus’s operating profit, which fell 4.4% to EUR15.9m.

Turnover was up 1.7% at EUR125.9m. On a like-for-like basis – including the recently-acquired Anna’s business, the disposal of Harry’s Benelux and falling contract volumes for United Biscuits – sales were up 1.5%.

Revenue in Belgium and the Netherlands remained “stable”, Lotus said, while sales grew in the US and the UK thanks to caramelised biscuit sales.