Singapore-based agribusiness group Olam International has booked an increase in first-quarter profits, boosted by an increase in sales volumes.

For the three months to the end of September, the firm earned net profit of S$29.7m (US$23m) after tax, an increase of 56% over the corresponding quarter last year.

Profits were driven by a 21.1% increase in sales volumes and a 40.5% rise in net contributions. The firm’s four business segments, edible nuts, spices and beans, confectionery and beverage ingredients, food staples and packaged foods and industrial raw materials, all contributed to the growth in volumes and sales.

Sales climbed 30.6% to S$2.45bn, while volumes were up 21.1% on last year to 1.6m tonnes.

Olam CFO Krishnan Ravikumar said: “We are encouraged to see that all five business segments have contributed to the strong performance in Q1 FY2011.”

Last month, Olam secured over 50.1% of shares in NZ Farming Systems Uruguay (NZFSU) as part of a takeover offer.

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The firm is also considering merging with Louis Dreyfus, a global commodity trading house.