Irish food group Greencore increased profit for the first half year ended 25 March but was hit by the costs of reorganising its sugar arm.

Profit before tax, exceptional item and goodwill amortisation rose by 8% to €32.6m (US$41m), but an exceptional item of €71.6m for the fundamental reorganisation of Greencore Sugar helped push the company to a loss before tax of €49.3m, compared with a profit of €18.1m last year. Operating profit rose to €34.9m, compared with €33.3m last year.

Turnover fell to €677m from €713m in the same period last year. However like for like sales were up 2% with growth of 8% in the company's convenience food division.

"These results are evidence of the strong strategic, commercial and financial progress which the group has made in the first six months of the financial year," said group chief executive David Dilger.