Spanish olive oil producer Deoleo has booked an increase in first-quarter earnings, but saw sales slide.

In the three month period, net profit amounted to EUR4.4m (US$5.7m), compared with EUR0.7m a year earlier, the company reported today (26 April).

EBITDA, however, was down 22.6% as a result of promotional activities implemented in March due to intense competition from private labels, it said. As a result, EBITDA dropped to EUR15.1m.

Sales in the period slid to EUR198m, 4.4% below the prior year. Deoleo blame “an environment marked by rising prices due to the VAT increase and rising raw material prices”.