Irish fruit group Fyffes has seen its pre-tax profit rise to €31m in the first half of 2014, according to its latest results, up 40% on the same period of last year.

The company said group revenue was 3% higher in the six months at €490.2m with total revenue – including joint ventures – up 1.3% to €592.8m.

This put Fyffes’ earnings before interest, tax and amortisation at €31.5m – up 36.5% on the first half of 2013.

As a result, the company said it would increase its full year target for EBITA to the €38m-€42m range, compared to €32.7m last year.

In its results the company also welcomed Chiquita Brands’ rejection of an unsolicited takeover bid by Brazilian firm Cutrale Group.

Fyffes and Chiquita announced plans for a merger in March, which would create one of the biggest fruit distributors in the world with annual revenues of around $4.6bn.

Today the firms revised the amount they expected to save from the merger, which is due to be put to shareholders in the middle of next month.

Fyffes and Chiquita said they now expect annual pre-tax cost savings of at least $60m by the end of 2016, up $20m on previous estimates.

This is due to better planned optimisation of the proposed firm’s shipping and sourcing operations.