Irish fresh produce distributor Fyffes has reported a 17.6% rise in profit before tax to €69.3m (US$86.1m) for the first half, describing the results as "exceptional".

Revenue, including the share of joint ventures, was €1.11bn for the six months to 30 June 2005, a rise of 17.7% compared to €944m a year earlier.

"The group has achieved an exceptional trading result in the first six months of 2005, with adjusted earnings per share up more than 40% compared to the same period last year, helped by favourable market conditions, particularly in Continental Europe," said chairman Carl McCann.