Bertolli olive oil maker SOS Corporación Alimentaria has booked a half-year loss of almost EUR62m (US$88.1m) as financial charges hit the company’s bottom line.


The Spanish food group said on Monday (31 August) that pre-tax losses stood at EUR61.6m for the six months to the end of June.


SOS has endured a tumultuous few months in which a share scandal led to the departure of the group’s chairman and CEO, to the company restating its 2008 accounts – and booking a EUR190m loss – and to a share issue worth EUR200m.


Under new boss Jose Manuel Muriel, and with guidance from Credit Suisse, SOS is restructuring its operations, and the group said “non-recurring provisions”, as well as interest charges, had driven the business into the red.


Half-year sales climbed 5.5% to EUR714m and SOS said recurring EBITDA reached EUR54.3m – without disclosing a comparable figure for 2008.


SOS highlighted a “significant rebound” in sales of Carbonell olive oil in Spain and said it remained “the undisputed leader” in the rice category. Last week, SOS denied it plans to sell off its rice business.