Finnish group Raisio, which owns brands from Benecol butter to Honey Monster cereals, pointed to an improvement in its EBIT as it reported a second-quarter loss.

The company today (14 August) posted a loss of EUR2.4m (US$2.9m) thanks to financial costs of EUR10.7m.

However, Raisio’s EBIT increased 3.9% to EUR10.6m as better profitability and higher sales from its branded division offset a weaker performance from its agribusiness unit.

Total sales were flat at EUR150.6m.

Chief executive Matti Rihko said: “Raisio’s second quarter went as expected. [The] brands division’s net sales growth and profitability developed in accordance with the objective. In the UK, business performance has been enhanced to meet the level of major branded houses.

“In the first half of 2012, Raisioagro‘s new business model and extended product range were well received by customers. In June, we started sales of Neste Oil’s liquid fuels. In addition to feeds, Raisio’s goal is to provide Finnish grain and livestock farms with sufficiently wide range of the most common farming supplies at competitive prices. We are looking for new solutions to the profitability problem in vegetable oil crushing.”