Sovereign Food Investments, the South African poultry processor, has booked a jump in earnings on the back of higher sales in the first-half.

Revenue in the six month period rose 21% to ZAR815m. The top line was boosted by higher volumes and increased selling prices, the company reported.

Sales gains underpinned a 49% jump in headline EPS, which increased to 28.1 cents a share, the company said. Operating profit rose to ZAR49m, up from ZAR37.9m in the comparable period of last year.

Looking to the remainder of the fiscal, Sovereign Foods said consumer demand is expected to remain weak due to above-inflation increases in energy and transport costs as well as lower availability of credit.

However, on a more positive note, import tariffs are expected to create a better balance between supply and demand. "The introduction of additional import tariffs should lead to a more stable balance between poultry supply and demand and bring some relief to the industry," the company said.