Singapore-based food ingredients group Olam International posted a 62% increase in profit after tax for the first quarter.

For the period ended 30 September, net profit after tax reached S$14.9m (US$9.8m), compared to S$9.2m in 2007. This was a combined result of growth in sales volume and net contribution across all four business segments.

Volume grew by 20.1% to 1.1 million tonnes, leading to a 24.4% growth in sales revenue to S$1.71bn. Net contribution rose 32.2% to S$117.1m despite higher interest costs and funding costs for acquisitions.

Olam's Group Managing Director and CEO Sunny Verghese said: "We continue to expand our reach both in existing and new origins as we increase our sourcing market share in existing products and also enter into new adjacent products such as wheat, canola, barley, palm oil, rubber and wool.

"We are also positioning Olam to be selectively more integrated in the value chain with a view to earning higher returns and strengthening our competitive advantage to ensure sustained profitable growth."