Danish ingredients firm Chr. Hansen booked a drop in first-half profit, in spite of sales gains which were driven by strong organic growth.

The company revealed today (11 April) operating profit in the six months to 28 February slid 3% to EUR30m (US$39.3m).

The group’s operating margin totalled 22.7% compared to 25% last year. Margins were hit by a EUR8m cost in the second quarter, excluding this the margin would have been unchanged from last year.

Net profit fell to EUR53m, down from EUR57m in the first half of last year.

Nevertheless, Chr Hansen reiterated its objective to drive year-on-year margin improvements in the fiscal year.

The company said that sales in the period were up 6%, climbing to EUR535m. Organic sales increased by 9% in the period, putting the group on-track to hit its targeted organic revenue growth of 8-10% in the full year.