May 30, 2012 / 4:42 AM / 5 years ago

NZ's Sanford H1 profit rises marginally, sees better second half

WELLINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) - New Zealand fishing company Sanford Ltd reported a 1.5 percent lift in first half profit on Wednesday, as sales improved and said it expected a lift in the second half.

Sanford said net profit for the six months to March 31 was NZ$13.3 million ($10.1 million) compared with NZ$10.1 million for the same period last year.

It said sales had risen and the profitability of inshore and fish farming operations had risen.

It said it expected an improved second half of the year, if conditions stayed as they currently are.

"The recent reduction in the value of the New Zealand dollar will assist if it remains below US$0.80," the company said in a statement.

So far this month the New Zealand dollar has fallen close to 7 percent and touched six month lows around $0.7500.

The company declared an unchanged interim dividend of 9 cents a share.

Shares in Sanford last traded down 1.3 percent at NZ$3.90.

($1=NZ$1.32)

Gyles Beckford

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