Dutch food ingredients group CSM posted an increase in sales for the first half but said it remains cautious for the second half of 2009.


For the six-month period, sales edged up to EUR1.28bn (US$1.84bn) from EUR1.25bn in 2008. Currency effects amounted to EUR69.9m. Organic sales fell 2.9% due to lower sales volumes.


EBITA before exceptional items reached EUR60.7m, down from EUR68.8m in the previous year. Currency effects positively impacted results by EUR5.9m for the first half.


CEO Gerard Hoetmer said: “The transformation we have undergone in the past few years has made us more resilient. We have been able to improve our margins and our innovation power has increased substantially.”


Hoetmer said CSM does not expect economic recovery in the near term, resulting in a still very competitive environment.


“On the other hand, we do see the benefits of our actions taken to offset the effects of the recession; both our long term investments in innovation and marketing and our cost savings initiatives are paying off.”

AR-SA”>CSM said it expects EBITA in the third quarter to show an improvement compared with the third quarter of 2008.