UK ice cream maker Richmond Foods has said it has achieved winter profitability for the first time in the company’s history.

Pre-tax profit was £2.07m (US$3.71m) for the 26 weeks to 28 March, compared to a loss of £0.20m in the year-ago period. Turnover rose 22.1% to £51.55m, while like-for-like sales growth was 11.9%.

The company said Oldfields and De Roma had been acquired and successfully integrated during the period.

“Whilst recognising that matching last year’s second-half performance will represent a challenging target, given the unusually hot summer of 2003, we remain confident of our ability to sustain the company’s organic growth,” said chairman Ross Warbuton.