Select Harvests has posted a $20 million first-half profit despite rising water costs amid what the almond producer called “ideal growing conditions”.

Water costs for the 2019 crop jumped 39 per cent from a year earlier due to higher prices and a lack of rain, but Select Harvests said on Friday that costs per kilogram had fallen and crop quality had improved.

A switch to a September financial year-end means prior corresponding period figures were unavailable, but the company did post a fully franked interim dividend of 12 cents – up from five cents at the last first-half results.

Managing director Paul Thompson said demand for almonds remained strong in both retail and industrial markets, with broader conditions boosting revenue.

“A lower than anticipated 2018 US crop, the lower Australian dollar and increased demand from the China market has led to an increase in the AUD market price Select Harvests is receiving for its almonds,” Select Harvests said.

The company estimates it will receive $8.50 per kilo in a full-year crop of 20,750 metric tonnes, up from $8.05 and 15,700 metric tonnes in FY18.

The company’s share price climbed 7.15 per cent to $6.89 at 1117 AEST on Friday, up 13 per cent this calendar year.