Lifeway Foods has reported a fall in profits for the first half of 2014 despite higher sales amid continued pressure from higher milk prices.

The US manufacturer of cultured dairy products booked operating profit of US$2.6m for the six months to the end of June, compared with US$6.2m for the same period in 2013. Net profit was down to US$1.8m from US$3.8m.

Net sales were up to US$58.6m from US$47.4m for the same period a year earlier. However, Lifeway pointed to a 30% rise in milk prices during the second quarter.

Its results for the quarter mirrored those for the half, with profits down by sales up.

Operating profit was down to US$1.5m versus US$2.5m. Net profit for the quarter was also lower at US$1.1m compared with US$1.4m for the same period a year, further affected by one-off charges and higher interest expenses.

The firm did however beat analyst expectations for earnings per share. According to data from Thomson Reuters the consensus estimate was EPS of US$0.06 and the firm reported an EPS of US$0.07.

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By GlobalData

Net sales for the quarter were up 28% to US$29.6m.

Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky said the firm was “optimistic about our long-term growth opportunities”.