Spanish chocolate and natraceuticals firm Natra has booked an increase in first-quarter profits, boosted by sales gains and lower financial costs.

The company said today the group saw first-quarter net profit rise 66.9% to EUR1.6m (US$2m). Earnings were boosted by lower financing costs. Over the past year, the company has reduced debt by EUR66.76m and the company said today (30 April) that first quarter financing costs fell to EUR2.7m, down from EUR3.4m in the comparable period of last year.

EBITDA increased 24.9% to EUR7.83m, the group added. Gains were driven by a variation in finished or in-process product stock, as well as lower wage and other expenses. 

Total sales rose to EUR88.1m, up 3.6%. Gains were driven by an 18.1% jump in its smaller, but fast-growing, natraceutical unit. Sales at the core chocolate and cocoa business increased by 1.8% in the quarter.