Edible oils and fat manufacturer Pura has posted a 5% rise in interim sales reflecting an ”improved demand picture” for the second quarter.

For the half-year to September 28 turnover rose to £96.9m from £90.2m last year while pre-tax profit jumped 20% to £1.7m.

The group said that “considerable progress” was achieved in debt reduction and cash management with debts of £1.4m at the year end converted to a cash positive position of £3.4m at the half-year.

Looking forward, chairman Pat Barrett said: “Our focus will be cost and cash control, whilst at the same time looking for every potentially profitable opportunity to increase group turnover.”