Frozen foods maker McCain weathered the first half of 2008 well, according to accounts filed at Companies House this week.

The accounts had been the subject of a bitter row with Euler Hermes, the world's largest credit insurer, which withdrew credit insurance to McCain's suppliers in April after the company refused to give it sight of more up-to-date management accounts.

The company has honoured the pledge it made at the time to file its latest accounts to Companies House by the end of April. McCain's sales growth was below that of previous years, at 4.5%, but profit before tax grew substantially, reaching £36m in 2007/8 versus £23m the year before. Gross margins also grew 1.8 percentage points to 30.8%. Total debt fell from £108m to £98m.

" We are naturally pleased to have delivered a solid performance in a challenging period," said a spokeswoman for McCain.

"However, we are disappointed that Euler Hermes could not wait until the end of the month before going to the media about our cover. McCain Foods has worked with many of its suppliers for a number of years, some for over three generations. It has an exemplary record of the settlement of bills and this remains the case. "

Removal of credit insurance can be damaging to suppliers as many banking facilities are dependent on the protection. However, McCain said the withdrawal of cover had not adversely affected its relationship with its suppliers.

The company refused to comment on whether Euler Hermes had restored suppliers' credit insurance. The spokeswoman said the matter was between Euler Hermes and its policy holders, and that the company had no direct relationship with the insurer.

Euler Hermes said in its letter to policyholders that McCain's accounts were "too old for underwriting purposes", and cover would be restored only if it saw both the audited accounts to June 2008 and management accounts to December 2008, which McCain has refused.

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