Higher food prices contributed to Pioneer Foods’ first-half profit boost, the South African company said yesterday (25 May).

Pioneer, which manufactures various well-known brands from Liquifruit to Weetbix, said operating profit rose 32% in the six-month period, increasing to ZAR711m (US$86m).

Headline earnings were up 34% to ZAR297m while headline EPS gained 18%.

Managing director Andre Hanekom said that South African food prices were expected to stabilise during the remainder of the year, which price decreases expected to shore-up consumer demand.

“We are pleased with our results overall, though we recognise our growth is off a relatively low base,” Hanekom said.