French poultry processor Duc has posted a fall in half-year losses as cost control and a refocus of the business to value-added products improved the bottom line.

Duc said today (27 September) that its net loss for the six months to the end of June was EUR380,000 (US$512,000) – against EUR3m a year ago.

The smaller losses came despite a 6% fall in sales to EUR79.5m, which Duc reported last month.

Duc’s operating losses were also lower, standing at EUR1.4m compared to EUR2.7m a year earlier.

However, the company warned that its business would continue to be affected by a “difficult economic environment” and said “soaring” grain prices could affect its prices on shelf.

Meanwhile, Duc said it had agreed to sell its Cobral catering and snacks unit to French co-op CECAB. Duc bought the business in 2007 and last year the unit generated sales of EUR21.7m.