The Irish dairy and ingredients group has reported sales of €1.04bn for the six month period, compared to €922.8m for the same period of last year. Operating profit rose from €36.4m to €48.5m, and earnings per share were up 26 per cent - ahead of market expectations. Group managing director John Moloney said: "The drivers for this performance were strong results from our Food Ingredients USA and the global Nutritionals businesses, both of which are key to our strategy to diversify our earnings base into higher value added ingredients." These elements were set against "buoyant world dairy markets", with global markets rising to record levels as increased demand has outstripped supply. The flip side of this, however, is an impact on international joint ventures. The UK Glanbia Cheese joint venture had a difficult first half with margin pressure applied by high dairy prices. While cheese prices are to increase as a result, there will be a time lag before this can be realised. Southwest Cheese in New Mexico also experienced margin squeeze, and is expected to just break even in full year. Glanbia's Nigerian JV with PZ Cussons is also suffering with timing issues for passing on raw material costs. For Food Ingredients US, however, the good results were driven in part by high cheese and whey prices, coupled with volume growth realised following capacity increase in 2006. Glanbia expects this performance to persist in the second half. Organic growth in Nutritionals was described as "in line with expectations". Seltzer, a US custom formulation business, has now been integrated into operations and contributed to overall growth in performance.