Dutch supermarket group Laurus believes it will break even this year once it has completed its restructuring programme.

Laurus, the Netherlands’ second-largest food retailer in terms of sales behind Ahold, today (28 August) posted first-half operating profit of EUR10m (US$13.6m), up from EUR2m a year earlier.

The rise in earnings came despite a fall in revenue, which dropped from EUR1.4bn last year to EUR924m during the first six months of 2007.

The fall in turnover is due to Laurus’ restructuring programme, which has seen the company focus on its Super de Boer stores, sell off its Edah and Konmar outlets, consolidate its distribution network and cut head office jobs.

Laurus is planning to offload 49 Super de Boer stores to further streamline the business.

The retailer posted a first-half net profit of EUR3m compared to a EUR6m loss a year earlier. CEO Jan Brouwer said the company’s restructuring is paying dividends.

“We are delighted with this result, because it shows that all the effort we have put into the restructuring exercise is starting to pay off,” Brouwer said.

“The second half of 2007 will see the completion of the final steps in the restructuring process. We are on track. Over the full year, barring unforeseen circumstances, we expect Laurus to break even.”