Del Monte Pacific has reported improving profitability and higher sales for the first half of its 2015/2016 fiscal year.

Net profit for the period ending 31 October was US$41.3m compared with a loss of $21.7m. Operating profit rose to $96.3m from $13.3m.

Profits benefited this fiscal year from the absence of a one-off charged booked last year with regard to inventory. It also benefited from a one-off retirement plan amendment regarding the Del Monte Foods business that Del Monte Pacific acquired in 2013. Excluding these one-offs, recurring net profit for the period would have been US$6m.

Sales for the half were up 13.1% to $1.13bn, boosted by operations in south and west Asia, the Philippines business and the Del Monte Foods unit.

The second quarter followed a similar pattern with net profit up at $53.3m compared with $0.2m. Stripping out the effect of the one off charges, net profit would have been $18m, still up 59% and its first profit after two years of losses attributed to acquisition related expenses since it acquired Del Monte Foods.

Operating profit grew to $96.1m from $25.4m and sales increased to $658.3m from $548m.

“Our performance in the second quarter reflects the fundamentals that have been restored since the group’s acquisition, coupled with effective promotion of our products in the retail channel along with cost optimisation programmes. We expect to maintain the momentum in the second half of our fiscal year having established Del Monte as the brand of choice for festive occasions. As we continue to unlock the growth potential of our products, accelerate our penetration of the food service sector and enter new vegetable market segments through Sager Creek, our results will improve further,” said Nils Lommerin, CEO of Del Monte Foods.