Canadian food manufacturer and retailer George Weston Ltd reported higher half-year profits despite a drop in the second quarter.

Net income in the 24 weeks to 15 June increased 1.6% to C$260m as improved operating income and sales offset a jump in finance expenses.

George Weston Ltd, the owner of the Loblaw chain, saw finance expenses almost double in the second quarter and, combined with slower sales growth in the quarter, meant quarterly net earnings dropped 27.4%.

Loblaw, the company’s bigger business, booked higher half-year sales, profits and margins. Revenue at the company’s Weston Foods arm was up 1.5%, with volumes dipping 0.3%. The company cited the loss of frozen products it distributed on behalf of some customers and the impact of foreign exchange. Adjusted operating income inched up 0.8%, with operating margin dipping 10 basis points to 14.9%.

Click here for the complete statement from George Weston Ltd.