A fall in the Brazilian real and a spike in soybean costs were key factors in the fall in half-year profits at Brasil Foods, the company has reported.

Brasil Foods booked an 82% fall in first-half net profit to BRL160m (US$79.2m) for the six months to the end of June.

Currency fluctuation pushed up its financial expenses. Its net debt also increased.

Brasil Foods, which claims to be Latin America’s third-biggest poultry processor, said higher soybean costs hit profits. EBIT fell 47% to BRL549m.

The company also pointed to costs implementing its agreement with Brazil’s anti-trust authority over the merger that created the business.

Last year, Brasil Foods secured regulatory approval for the 2009 merger of Perdigao and Sadia but the competition watchdog said the enlarged company had to stop selling certain products and offload some plants and distribution centres.

The increase in costs offset a 7% rise in net sales to BRL13.2bn.