Fresh produce company Fyffes has announced a 30% increase in profits for the first financial half but again warned that its performance in the second six months of 2008 will be hit by rising costs.

Adjusted pre-tax profits reached €15.7m (£12.5m) - an increase of more than 30% on the equivalent period last year, when the figure stood at €11.7m (£9.3m).

The figure excludes the results of property spin-off Blackrock, in which Fyffes holds a 40% stake following its 2006 de-merger. Including Blackrock, profits more than doubled to €35.1m (£27.9m).

Sales, meanwhile, increased by 5.6% over the period to €302m (£240m), up from €286.2m (£227.9) for the first six months of last year.

"Over the last two years, our industry has experienced unprecedented increases in the costs of fruit, shipping and fuel," said chairman David McCann. "During the first half of 2008, Fyffes achieved increases in selling prices which, combined with more favourable exchange rates, enabled us to offset the impact of substantially higher costs.

"However, as announced on 29 August, the group's expectations for the remainder of the year have changed, as the increases in selling prices needed to offset further increases in costs, and less favourable exchange rates, are not currently being achieved. Fyffes will continue to actively seek increases in selling prices in all markets in this regard."

Fyffes first issued a warning in April that rising fruit and fuel costs were likely to hit the company's bottom line.