Meat producer HKScan posted a 33.3% increase in EBIT for its third quarter, with the company attributing the growth to the "normalisation" of its Finnish business, and "excellent success" in Poland.

EBIT reached EUR18.8m (US$26.53) for the third quarter ended 30 September, with EBIT margin rising to 3.5% from 2.6% in the same quarter of the previous year.

The Finland-based company today (5 November) announced that net sales fell slightly to EUR532.4m against EUR533.5m in the same quarter of the previous year.

CEO Matti Perkonoja said: "The group has strengthened measures to improve profitability and efficiency of the business, particularly in Sweden and Finland. HKScan announced in September plans for new structural changes to improve operations in the Finnish and Swedish market areas. In Finland, the focus is on significantly improving the productivity of the business in order to maintain international competitiveness."

The company said its situation in Finland was "returning to normal" following industrial action in the spring, with EBIT falling slightly to EUR6.8m against EUR7.7m in the same quarter of the previous year.

In Sweden, EBIT reached EUR6.6m against EUR2.5m in the same quarter of the previous year, driven up by gains on the disposal of properties in Uppsala and Visby. However, the company added that the restructuring has caused additional costs.

EBIT eroded in the Baltics by the merger of Jelgavas Galas Kombinats with Rigas Miesnieks, coming in at EUR2.5m, down from EUR3.4m the year before.

The company has maintained its full year earnings forecast.

For HKScan's full earnings statement, click here.