Tiger Brands, South Africa’s largest branded food manufacturer, has posted an increase in first-half sales and earnings despite what the firm termed a “tough trading environment”.

The company revealed sales rose 11% year-on-year. Tiger booked domestic revenue growth of 8%, with volume and pricing contributing equally to expansion. International sales – including its “under-performing” Nigerian flour milling business – increased 20%.

Operating income rose 9%, although operating margin declined by 0.2 points to 11.5%. Margins were negatively influenced by the inflationary effects of the weak South African rand on input costs, Tiger said. The company was unable to fully offset higher input costs through pricing and instead worked to mitigate their impact through a focus on efficiency.

Headline earnings per share, a key metric in South Africa, was up 7% at 856 cents a share, excluding an impairment charge on Nigerian unit Dangote Flour Mills.

“The Tiger group is making steady progress in implementing key strategic initiatives aimed at regaining market shares and further strengthening its core brands,” Peter Matlare CEO said.

Click here to view the financial update from Tiger Brands.