Consumer goods group Libstar, whose brands include Lancewood cheeses and Denny mushrooms, said revenue grew during its six months to end-June, though it has faced extraordinary costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Revenue grew 1.9% in its first half as the group reported that demand for snacks and confectionery, as well as baking and baking aids, jumped by a fifth.

The group operated as an essential service during lockdown, but reported pressure on its food service channel, which includes beef, chicken and related meat products, as well as soft and hard cheeses and tortilla wraps.

Diluted headline earnings per share (heps) for the six months to end-June is expected to fall 6.7%-11.8% from the prior period’s 18.6c, the group said in a trading update.

The group experienced direct extraordinary costs of R44m related to Covid-19. It includes community donations of R3.5bn, personnel-related benefits of R18.5m, and R22m in direct operating expenses.