Belgian biscuit and cake maker Lotus Bakeries saw first-half net profit edge up slightly helped by the acquisition of Spanish subsidiary López Market.

Net profit to 30 June 2008 rose 1% to EUR10m (US$14.5m), up from EUR9.9m in the comparable period of last year.

The company acquired Spanish importer López Market in January and the business represents around EUR3m of Lotus's annual turnover, consolidated from 1 February, the company said.

Turnover for the first half totalled EUR123.7m, up 16.2% from EUR106.4m in the same period last year. Internal growth amounted to 15%.

The company said sales in all its markets grew "strongly" in the first period, combined with the successful introduction of caramelised biscuit spread in Belgium. An increase in sale prices at the end of last year was made in response to rising raw material costs.

Operating profit jumped 36.9% to EUR16.6m from EUR12.1m in 2007.

Growth in turnover in the second half is not expected to be as strong as in the first half due to rising consumer prices possibly slowing sales volumes, Lotus said.

Profit margins, however, are expected to be in line with 2007.