French vegetable group Bonduelle recorded an increase in first-half turnover today (4 February), boosted by acquisitions during the period.

Turnover for the period from 1 July to 31 December reached EUR760m (US$1.04bn), a 3.5% increase at constant foreign exchange rates from the year-ago period.

Acquisitions conducted throughout 2009, coupled with the de-consolidation of Gelagri's distributor-brand frozen vegetables, impacted favourably on Bonduelle's turnover, accounting for 3.4% of the growth.

On a like-for-like basis, second-quarter sales were up 0.4% compared to a 0.1 % decline in the first quarter.

Operations in Eastern Europe weighed on turnover, the firm said. This was mainly due to restrictions on customer credit implemented at the beginning of the financial year and carried over into the second quarter.

Sales in Western Europe rose by 0.8% at constant currency rates and, on a like-for-like basis, exhibited “admirable resistance” in a consumer climate which remained globally “bleak”, the firm said.

Frozen-vegetable sales were up 0.9% in the first half, while chilled-vegetable sales gained 0.8%.

The company today confirmed the acquisition of Europe's largest mushroom producer France Champignon from private-equity group Butler Capital Partners.