French vegetable processor Bonduelle saw its shares fall this morning (3 February) despite the company posting an increase in half-year sales.

Bonduelle’s stock fell even after the company booked a 16.4% increase in first-half sales. The company recorded EUR884.6m (US$1.22bn) turnover for the half ended 31 December. At constant exchange rates, like-for-like sales were up by 1.6%.

During the second quarter, sales were up 17% to EUR464.8m, or 1.2% at constant exchange rates and on a like-for-like basis.

In the Bonduelle’s frozen division, the company attributed an 8.8% like-for-like sales drop, at constant exchange rates, to difficulties encountered in Spain and to transfers of volumes to the frozen-vegetable Distributor brand and Gelagri joint venture.

During the second quarter, the processor began selling canned peas and corn in Brazil, following the start-up of production in September. The company said it expects to take 10% of the canned vegetable market in the country within three years.

Bonduelle said that its growth in turnover and volume in the first half “underscores the relevance of the group’s choices in terms of development strategy” including multiple processing technologies, national and distributor brands, and multichannel distribution as well as the “geographic localisation of its operations”.

The company said that turnover and profitability in the second half is expected to be impacted by declining prices in distributor-brand markets in Europe and North America, but added that it expects to meet its turnover and profitability objectives for the full year.

Bonduelle’s shares were down 2.4% at EUR68.31 at 10:25 CET.

Click here for the company’s full trading statement.