Canadian food group Maple Leaf Foods posted an increase in half-yearly earnings today (29 July), boosted by strong performances in the company’s bakery and prepared meats divisions.

Adjusted operating earnings for the six months ended 30 June reached C$75.2m (US$69.3m) compared to C$51.9m in 2008.

Sales edged up slightly to C$2.6bn from C$2.5bn in the comparable period of the previous year.

The company said its stronger results reflected a recovery from the product recall of last August.

Last year, contaminated deli meats from a Maple Leaf food processing plant in Toronto were linked to at least 22 deaths. Following an investigation, it was found that two slicers at the plant had been harbouring listeria bacteria.

Since then, the company has reached a C$25m settlement in a series of class-action lawsuits related to the listeriosis outbreak.

Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf, said of today’s results: “We are realising material positive benefits from the transformation of our protein operations over the past several years, which protected us from challenging commodity markets in the quarter.

“While we have made good progress, there remains significant value creation opportunity with very positive effects on our future financial results.”