Frozen food giant Iglo Group has reported a rise in half-year earnings as product launches helped to drive sales.

Iglo, formerly known as Birds Eye Iglo, today (12 August) posted an 8.9% increase in EBITDA to EUR159.9m (US$227.5m) for the first six months of 2011.

The company, which is owned by private-equity firm Permira, also said its gross margins had improved by 70 basis points.

Sales increased 3.5% to EUR780m and Iglo said it had seen "successful product launches" in the UK, Italy and Germany.

Iglo chief executive Martin Glenn said sales from all three of the company's brand portfolios - Birds Eye, Iglo and Findus Italy - grew.

"The first half of 2011 has been another successful period for the group, building upon its achievements in 2010," Glenn said. "We will seek to continue our top line performance through the second half of the year. Whilst we are confident in our ability to continue innovating and migrating successful products across our markets, we still remain cautious given the current restraints on consumer spending."

A Reuters report claimed yesterday that Permira, which has acquired the company from Unilever five years ago, was considering plans to list the business. A Permira spokesperson declined to comment.