Petra Foods has seen full-year profits slide by 57% due to difficult trading conditions and one-off charges related to its soon-to-be-sold cocoa ingredients business.

For the 12 months to the end of December, Singapore-based Petra saw net profits were US$25.9m, down 57.2% on the previous year. The group sank to net losses of $16.7m in the fourth-quarter, versus profits of $18.4m in the same period of 2011.

Petra said it took a $27.5m charge connected to the planned divestiture of its cocoa ingredients business.

The unit also continued to come under margin pressure, and sank to net losses of $28.6m for the full-year, from profits of $21.2m a year earlier.

John Chuang, Petra’s CEO, said the proposed sale of the cocoa ingredients arm will enable the group focus on its better-performing branded consumer business. It will focus on rising demand for chocolate and confectionery in South East Asia.

A strong showing from Petra’s branded and consumer food arm enabled it to increase overall net sales by 13.8% in 2012, to $477.7m. EBITDA rose by almost a third, to $84.8m.

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By GlobalData

Excluding the cocoa ingredients business, net profits jumped by 38.6%, to $54.5m.