Dutch food group Royal Wessanen has posted rising first-half profits despite a drop off in revenues, the company said today (1 August).

The company booked a 17% increase in operating profit to EUR27.7m due to earnings growth from its branded food businesses in North America and Europe.

Wessanen’s revenue dipped 3.5% during the six months to the end of June, with the company blaming the weak dollar. Wessanen said that when its businesses report sales in the local currencies, revenue is up.

Wessanen CEO Ad Veenhof said the company’s “strategic initiatives are starting to pay off”. He added: “Our North American operations did especially well. North America branded is demonstrating excellent growth. Tree of Life, Wessanen’s North American distribution business, has improved from negative growth the last couple of years and earlier this year to a positive top-line growth of 2.2% (in US dollars) in the second quarter of 2007.

“Our European businesses are also showing encouraging growth in the key strategic segments of branding and distribution.”

Wessanen reaffirmed its target of 5-7% revenue growth across its businesses by the end of the year. Profits from its branded businesses in Europe and North America are forecast to rise 10-12%.

Earnings from its European distribution arm are predicted to rise 4-5%, while Wessanen has earmarked 3-4% profit growth from its North American distribution business.