Spain's Deoleo, the company behind olive oil brands Bertolli and Carbonell, has insisted its sales and EBITDA were improving despite lower results year-on-year.

Deoleo's EBITDA was down 19.7% at EUR50.1m for the nine months to the end of September. Net turnover was 6.3% lower at EUR587.2m.

However, Deoleo highlighted its EBITDA result as an indication it had seen results improve in the third quarter.

"After the first few difficult months this fiscal year, we have entered a period of recovery in the third quarter – the EBITDA/sales profitability for the third quarter is 11%," Deoleo said.

The ratio stood at 11% in the first quarter, but after pressure during the year, had fallen to 8.5% when measured over the first nine months of 2013. 

"All of our regions have experienced this improvement, recovering profitability and sales volumes in Spain, in contrast to the negative values recorded in the first few months of the year," the company added. "The price stability of raw materials and an initial decrease in the last few months have slowed the progress of store brands."

The company made a net profit after tax of EUR9.1m in the nine months to the end of September, compared to a loss of EUR1.3m a year earlier.

A spokesperson said Deoleo ran up one-off costs in 2012 and had benefited from efficiency measures brought in this year, as well as more profitable sales.