Food, agriculture and engineering group Carr’s Milling Industries Plc has announced a rise in turnover to £78.42m (US$149.7m) in the half ended 26 February 2005, compared with £71.7m in the same period a year earlier.

Pre-tax profit rose to £7.243m from £2.87m in the year earlier period.

“Overall, the year to 3 September 2005 is expected to be one of further progress,” said Chris Holmes, chief executive.

The company’s food division benefited from lower wheat prices, despite a £0.35m reorganisation charge in the acquired mills and the loss of flour sales to McVitie’s biscuit factory in Carlisle following floods on 8 January 2005 and to the Rathbones plant bakery following a fire on 19 February 2005.

The newly acquired two flour mills, Hutchison’s in Kirkcaldy and Green’s in Maldon, are integrating well with Carr’s in Silloth and are expected to be profit generating in the full year,  after finance and reorganisation costs.