UK snack manufacturer Zetar has posted a threefold rise in first half earnings and upped its outlook, stating that strong orders for chocolate Easter bunnies would boost its annual profits.

Ian Blackburn, chief executive said: “We are pleased with our Spring order book and sales to date and this, added to the consistent trading pattern of our Natural & Premium Snacks division, gives the board confidence with regard to the outlook for the remainder of the year.”

Zetar produces healthy snacks and confectionery. The company posted pretax profits of GBP900,000 (US$1.8m) for the six months ended 31 October. Acquisitions helped raise turnover to GBP38.2m, a 74% year-on-year increase, Zetar said. Last year Zetar acquired Humdinger, a fruit and nut supplier, and Salamanda, a manufacturer of chocolate and yoghurt coated snacks.

“We have made good progress in the first half of this year, through the organic growth of both operating divisions and with our recently acquired businesses, Humdinger and Salamanda, which have contributed to a significant position in the healthier snacking marketplace,” Blackburn concluded.

Zetar has said that it is continuing to seek out fresh acquisition targets in the healthy snacks category.
The group also said it has appointed Dale Mullins in the new post of finance director.