Donegal Investment Group’s profit is up €900,000 on the first half of 2014, the Group has announced.

Profit after tax, before exceptional items, for the period was €2.0m, an increase of €0.9m over the first half of 2014, it said.

Whilst operating profit increased for the first six months of 2015 across all business segments it should also be noted that foreign exchange movements positively impacted our net finance income, the Group said.

The Group’s revenue decreased by €0.1m, with an increase in Revenue from its Speciality Dairy being offset in the main by the cessation of ware potato trading in the Group’s Donegal Potatoes business in 2014.

Adjusted operating profit was €0.7m, an increase of €0.3m on the first half of 2014. This improvement is driven by the continued growth in the Group’s Speciality Dairy business

Performance from the Group’s share of associates was satisfactory, it said, with the contribution from Monaghan Middlebrook Mushrooms impacted by the year-on-year reduction in the level of EU funding received.

The Group’s shareholding in Monaghan for 2015 was accounted for as a 30% associate (2014: 35%), it said.

Net debt of Donegal Investment Group decreased by €2.8m from December 2014 (€16.7m), partly due to the proceeds received from the sale of the Ballyraine Halls student accommodation.

The Board is satisfied with the first half performance. The revenue of the Group remained flat for the first six months of 2015 with operating profit increasing from €0.3m to €0.7m, reflecting in the main continued growth in our Speciality Dairy business.

The key determinant of performance in the second half, and for the year overall, will be the contribution from the Produce Division, the Group said.

The Board is currently optimistic that the performance of the Produce Division will return to levels of profits more consistent with the business historically, as a result of expected improvements in market dynamics, it said.