Northern Foods has reported a 5.8% increase in half-year pre-tax profits but has warned that trading conditions remains “difficult”.

Releasing half-year results for the 26 weeks to end October 1, the group said that pre-tax profits had increased from £24.3m to £25.7m. Continuing sales increased 2.8% from £680.7m to £700m.

Pat O’Driscoll, chief executive of Northern Foods, said: “The trading environment remains difficult. Against a background of rising input costs, particularly in energy, we expect the recent period of price deflation to end.”