Rising profits from ingredients helped offset a fall in earnings from meat production at Netherlands-based Vion Food Group in 2007.

The company said today (24 April) that its operating profit rose 33% last year to EUR221m (US$347m), thanks to cost-control and a series of acquisitions last year.

Turnover dipped 3.7% to EUR7.1bn as Vion felt the impact of falling meat prices.

Vion saw profits from its ingredients unit reach EUR73m, up from EUR65m a year earlier.

The company, however, said its meat business had "suffered from poor market conditions" in 2007. Despite cost cuts, earnings from the business fell from EUR86m to EUR81m.

Acquisitions, meanwhile, helped Vion's smallest business, its convenience foods unit, see profits almost double from EUR28m to EUR51m.