Higher wheat, maple syrup and corn costs have weighed on half-year profits at US food group B&G Foods.

The New Jersey-based firm said yesterday (28 July) that operating income for the six months to 28 June had fallen 4.9% to US$38.3m.

The fall in profits came despite rising sales, which were boosted by the cereals brand Cream of Wheat, which B&G bought last year. Net sales were up 6.1% to $235.5m.

"The second quarter was a very challenging quarter for our company with costs increasing, particularly in maple syrup, more quickly than we could raise pricing to compensate," said CEO David Wenner.

"We believe that costs, while still higher, will be more predictable in the second half of fiscal 2008 and that our pricing actions will be better able to offset cost increases going forward."