Vitasoy International Holdings, the Hong Kong-based food and beverage group, has posted a 14% rise in underlying half-year profits.

The company, which makes a range of soy-based products, booked underlying net profit of HK$120m (US$15.5m) for the six months to 30 September.

On a reported basis, Vitasoy booked an 8% fall in net profit to HK$97m due to a one-off cost of HK$26m for employees' leave pay entitlements over the previous six years.

Turnover jumped 20% to HK$1.43bn.

Executive chairman Winston Yau-lai Lo said Vitasoy had seen "outstanding" sales growth during the first half of its fiscal year and was upbeat about the economic outlook.

"Looking forward, in spite of the slowdown in GDP growth, we foresee the fundamentals of the economy in mainland China will remain sound with robust domestic demand," Lo said.

"With brand building and promotion of the benefits of soy, together with the implementation of our focused strategy, we believe the growth momentum in sales will be maintained. We will continue to expand the distribution network and launch a broader range of products to stimulate new demand."