* Group’s turnover increase marginal
* EPS more than quadruples
PORT LOUIS, March 29 (Reuters) - Mauritian conglomerate Ireland Blyth Ltd IBLP.MZ said 2009 profit from operations rose 56 percent on the back of a seafood sector helped by the start of a marine biotechnology plant and a regular supply of fish.
IBL said on Monday that although the economic environment remained difficult throughout the year, sectors other than seafood exceeded expectations. The group has operations in the hotel and financial services sectors.
Profit from operations rose to 950 million rupees ($31 million), on turnover up to 13.2 billion from 12.9 billion in 2008. Earnings per share increased to 19.06 rupees from 4.20 rupees.
"Although there are signs of recovery from the economic downturn, market conditions are expected to remain fairly difficult. However, the outlook for the sectors in which the group operates is quite positive, which may lead to another relatively good performance," IBL said. (Reporting by Jean Paul Arouff; Editing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura and Dan Lalor) ($1 = 30.70 Mauritius rupees) (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: af.reuters.com/)