Lancaster Colony reported lower first-half earnings as a deterioration in sales mix and higher costs offset top line gains at the pie-to-condiments maker.

The company said today (29 January) that operating profit fell to US$84.8m, compared to $92.6m in the prior year. Net income was down to $55.7m from $64m last year.

The company said: “The benefit of the higher sales volumes were more than offset by a less favourable sales mix, elevated freight expense, increased marketing and promotional costs in support of our retail brands and recent product introductions, and higher production costs attributed to continued capacity constraints in our dressing operations.”

During the six months sales increased to $563.4m from $540.4m. Lancaster said gains were driven by higher foodservice demand, while retail sales “improved modestly”.