Spanish food company Ebro Puleva today (20 July) reported that the group's net profit had risen by 41.8% during the first half - up to EUR67.8m (US$85.4m), thanks to its new focus on valued added products.

Ebro Puleva said that EBITDA increased by 12.3% to EUR136.3m and EBIT rose 5% to EUR94m on the back of acquisitions and expansion which counteracted the lower profitability of its sugar business. Net turnover was up 22.3% year on year to over EUR1.253bn. 

During the half, the company boosted its advertising spend by 79%, reflecting its strategy of growing sales in value added segments.

Ebro Puleva said that the recent acquisition of US pasta manufacturer New World Pasta marked the beginning of a new strategic plan.

The positive results, the company said, reflect the first benefits of the acquisition, which has contributed EUR21m to the pasta division turnover in just one month.

"The consolidation of the group's dedication to this sector, the firm objective of making the Ebro Puleva Group a worldwide benchmark, the strength of the group's traditional businesses in the face of adversities on the European consumer market and the excellent prospects of synergies among the North American business are the pillars on which the group's growth is to be built over the next three years," the company said in a statement.