Hong Kong based food retailer Dairy Farm International has reported a fall in profits for the first half ended 30 June, because of an exceptional gain from disposals in the equivalent period last year.

Profit for the period was US$76.7m, compared with $84.7m in the same period last year. Sales rose to $2.282bn, compared with $1.919bn in the year earlier period.

In the same period last year, the net profit had been enhanced by an exceptional gain of $23m arising from asset disposals.

Dairy Farm achieved further growth in sales and underlying earnings in the first six months of 2005 as generally favourable economic conditions prevailed in most of its major markets, the company said. Underlying net profit for the period increased by 23%.