Higher sales and lower tax expenses have lifted net profit levels at Turkish biscuit maker Ulker Biskuvi despite a fall in operating income in the first nine months of the year.

The company, which is controlled by Yildiz Holding and listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, reported net earnings rose to TRY167.9m (US$73.8m) in the nine months to 30 September. Tax costs fell almost 50% in the period, dropping to TRY19.5m. Sales were also up, increasing to TRY2.12bn from TRY1.97bn.

However, operating profit dipped to TYR282.7m, compared to TRY339.3m in the prior year period. Much of the decline can be attributed to a jump in "expenses from investment activities", which rose to TRY118.6m from TRY21.6m in the nine months.

Yildiz, Ulker's parent, also owns chocolate maker Godiva and this week struck a deal to buy the UK's United Biscuits.

Click here to view the regulatory filing from Ulker.