US food group Hormel Foods said it will still be looking at acquisitions in the near future, despite a fall in half-year profits today (21 May).

Speaking at the company’s results conference, chairman, president and CEO Jeffrey Ettinger said Hormel would continue to look at core areas that would “bring something to the party”.

“We like food service, we like deli, we like canned items and value-added branded protein items,” Ettinger said.

He also added that, on an export basis, its focus was on Asia and that the company would like to increase its footprint in the market.

Hormel posted a 2.5% fall in half-year profits this morning to US$161.8m despite a 2% rise in first-half sales to US$3.3bn.

For the second quarter, net sales inched up 0.1% to reach US$1.6bn and net earnings rose from US$77.6m a year ago to US$80.4m.

Ettinger said the second-quarter results demonstrated the “benefits” of the company’s “balanced business model”.

“I’m proud that our team was able to do better than expected this quarter amidst a difficult operating environment,” he said.

“Looking forward we still face a number of challenges in our business as a result of the unsettled economy that include… the prevailing oversupply of turkey commodity, uncertainty regarding commodity grain prices, continued weakness in the food service sector and potential export issues.”

However, he added that a “rock solid” balance sheet, will allow Hormel to “take advantage” of strategic opportunities that may present themselves.