Portuguese retailer Jeronimo Martins has reported a first-half net profit at the high end of analysts' forecasts.

The retailer posted net profit of €17.1m (US$19.3m), compared to a loss of €177.2m a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting, on average, net profit of €13.9m. Estimates ranged from €9.8m to €17.8m.

The company's revenues fell 16% to €1.64bn, but the retailer said sales rose 2.4% after taking into account outlets that had been sold.

Jeronimo Martins, which operates in Portugal and Poland, said operating profits had risen considerably since the company sold off non-profitable assets last year. In the first quarter, the company reported a net profit for the first time since the first half of 2000, reported Reuters.