Ebro Puleva, Spain's largest food group, has seen profits tumble almost 56% so far this year, thanks to rising raw material costs.

The company booked net profit of EUR57.7m (US$83.3m) for the nine months to the end of September, a fall of 55.8% on the year.

The fall in earnings also reflected the sale of its operations in Central America last year and costs linked to recent acquisitions, including a pasta business in Germany.

However, Ebro Puleva's operating profit has risen 3.4% to EUR146.1m during the first nine months of the year. Revenue rose 8.9% to just under EUR2bn.

In a note of optimism, Ebro Puleva said that the commodity costs "situation as of today seems to have reached a certain stability".