SunOpta, the Canadian natural and organic food group, has booked an increase in profits for the first half.

The company earned C$25.1m (US$24.3m) in the six months to 3 July, compared to a net income of $0.1m in the prior year. The figure includes a gain on the sale of the Canadian Food Distribution assets of $13.8m.

Revenues for the period were C$411.6m, an increase of 8.8% versus the first half of 2009.

In the first half, the company realised operating income of $20.8m, or 4.6% of revenues versus operating income in the prior year of $3m.

Steve Bromley, president and CEO, said: "We are very pleased with our second quarter and year to date results which are indicative of numerous initiatives which have been implemented, centred on improving operating results within our core business segments while at the same time improving our return on assets employed."

In the second quarter, revenue climbed 9.2% to C$235.9m, while net income reached C$20.5m versus $1.8m in the prior year.

Operating income increased to C$11.8m compared to C$4.6m last year.