Food ingredients manufacturer Carr’s Milling Industries has posted half-year profits ahead of expectations.

Pre-tax profits remained unchanged at £5.3m for the 26 weeks to 27 February, the manufacturer said, although sales fell 8% to £161.3m.

Although profits were down in the group’s agricultural trading and food businesses, earnings more than doubled in its agriculture manufacturing unit to £1.1m and rose from £0.3m to £0.4m in its engineering unit.

"Carr's unaudited result for the 26 weeks to 27 February 2010 was ahead of the board's expectations and the group remains on-track for an improved result compared to last year,” said chief executive Chris Holmes.

“Carr's has continued to demonstrate its resilient qualities and strong management by delivering these results in markets which remain competitive across the business and in a poor economic and financial environment.”