CSM reported first-half net profit of EUR38.8m (US$49.73m) compared to EUR365m in 2005, when it was inflated by EUR355.2m proceeds from the sale of its sugar confectionery unit.

The Dutch food group’s operating result before exceptionals rose more than 30% to EUR66.4m and sales totalled EUR1.2bn.

CSM CEO Gerard Hoetmer said: “The results show that the large number of measures we have taken to implement our tighter strategy are having positive effects. All business units have been affected by the changes in market strategy, organisational structure, or personnel capacity. That’s why I am very pleased that the organisation and its people managed to realise a marked improvement in the results in all divisions – despite all those changes.”

The firm, which supplies frozen cookies, baking mixes and frozen dough to bakeries, added that underlying sales rose 7% at its US unit, but noted that a strong rise in the price of sugar would put pressure on the operating result in the second half.