Ireland Blyth H1 profit down 1.3 pct on seafood

PORT LOUIS, Sept 29 Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:04am EDT

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PORT LOUIS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Mauritian conglomerate Ireland Blyth Ltd IBLP.MZ said first half pretax profit fell, hit by the impact of a weaker euro on seafood operations.

Pretax profit for the period ending June 30 fell to 274.042 million rupees ($8.98 million) from 277.71 million a year ago, IBL said on Wednesday.

"The weakness of euro during that period impacted on the export oriented operations of the seafood sector contributing to a drop in its profit margin," the company said in a statement.

IBL said turnover increased by 8 percent to 6.679 billion rupees from 6.169 billion rupees in the same period in 2009.

Earnings per share increased to 2.96 rupee from 2.87 rupee.

"Although the market segments in which the group operates are continuing to experience growth, margins are expected to remain under pressure with the strong competition resulting from the difficult economic conditions," it said.

The group has operations in seafood, commerce, financial services and logistics sectors. (Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff)

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