Dutch food group Nutreco reported an almost  50% drop in its first-half operating profits owing to reduced demands for animal feeds, according to a Reuters report.

The firm's half-year earnings before interest, tax and amortization plunged to US$58.9 million from US$118 million a year ago. Net profit for the same period fell by 76% to US$17.7 million compared with US$73.9 million a year earlier.

Sales dropped 8.5% to US$3 billion. It was attributed to the slump witnessed at the company's European Compound feed unit, which bore a one-time charge of around US$28.8 million, resulting in the loss of US$18.7 million.