The Irish Jacob Fruitfield Group has reported profit of E4.4 million and sales of E42m in its first five months, writes Ann Marie Foley.

That is according to results just released, for the months since the acquisition of W&R Jacob’s (Irish Biscuits) business from Danone, in August 2004, to December 2004.

However, the company warned that this period marked the pre-Christmas high season and would not correctly reflect the full year’s trading.Chief executive Michael Carey warned the imminent repeal of the Groceries Order, expected in April, which bans below-cost selling, will intensify competition in the Irish retail market.

The company is undertaking a E2m advertising campaign in 2006 and a Jacob’s Bis-cuits advertisement is already on television.

The company sells products, including confectionery and biscuits, under brands such as Jacob’s, Bewleys Fruitfield and Chef.