Fyffes, the fresh produce group, has again reiterated its concerns fir the second half of 2008 despite posting a jump in underlying pre-tax profits for the first half of the year.

The Ireland-based group booked a 30.2% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit to EUR15.7m (US$21.9m) for the six months to the end of June.

Higher selling prices and the weak US dollar helped drive a rise in revenue, which was up 5.6% to EUR302m.

Nevertheless, the outlook for the rest of the year has "deteriorated", Fyffes said, as fruit procurement and fuel costs continue to rise.

Fyffes said the strengthening of the US dollar against t the euro had also increased its costs, which it now expects to be 20% higher year-on-year in 2008.

"The group's expectations for the remainder of the year have changed, as the increases in selling prices needed to offset further increases in costs, and less favourable exchange rates, are not currently being achieved," Fyffes chairman David McCann said. "Fyffes will continue to actively seek increases in selling prices in all markets in this regard."