Universal Robina Corp., the Philippines-based food group, saw its sales and profits grow in the first half of its financial year.

The company booked a 5.2% rise in net sales to PHP58.54bn for the six months to the end of March.

Operating income was up 6.1% at PHP9.39bn, with lower input costs giving the result a boost.

Net income grew 29.2% to PHP8.36bn, boosted by unrealised foreign exhcange gains and by the market valuation of financial assets from the gain of a debt currency forward hedge from New Zealand subsidiary Griffin’s Foods.

Sales from URC’s branded consumer foods rose 4.4% to PHP48.46bn, with the division’s domestic sales, excluding those generated from packaging, up 2.6%.

The division’s international operations saw its first-half sales rise 7.7% to PHP17.45bn. URC said the international results were driven by its operations in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and New Zealand.

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URC said the Griffin’s snacks business in New Zealand it acquired in 2014 “continues to post good market shares”. The company added: “We have been actively taking steps to grow its value faster than volume and improve its profitability.”