Dutch retailer Laurus has reported a small net profit for the six months ended 19 June 2005, reversing last year’s loss, thanks largely to a release of pension liabilities.

Profit for the period was €2m (US$2.5m), compared with a €15m loss last year. However, the improvement was achieved the release of pension liabilities for an amount of € 47m (after tax) and gains on disposals, amounting to € 1m (first half 2004: € 11 million), related to Spain and Belgium. The net result excluding non-recurring items was a loss of €46m, compared with a loss of €51m in the same period last year.

Revenue in the half fell to €1.463bn, compared with €1.653bn last year.

‘Laurus has become lean and mean and the back office organisation is good. The key issue for Laurus now is the low sales per square metre, which is below the average level of other supermarkets in the Netherlands,” said Harry Bruijniks, chairman of Laurus NV’s group management board.