Central European Distribution Corporation has posted a healthy lift in both sales and profits for the first half of this year.

The US-based company, which operates primarily in Eastern Europe, said today (5 August) that net profit for the six months to the end of June soared to US$65.3m, compared to $14.8m in the corresponding period a year earlier. Sales also leapt in H1, to $734.9m from $496.9m, with operating profit rising to $68.3m from $44.1m.

For the second quarter, net profit increased by 77% to $46.8m, while sales rose by 57% to $421.3m. Operating income was up by 70% in the three-month period to $42.8m.

The company credited double digit growth from its key vodka brands in Poland for the healthy showing, led by strong performance from premium vodka brand Bols. Consumer demand for imported wines and spirits remained "strong", CEDC noted, with sales of its import portfolio up by over 40% in Q2, compared to the second quarter last year. "The strong Polish currency has contributed to keeping our raw material prices down, especially our main cost component, raw spirit," the company added.

CEDC's president and CEO, William Carey, said: "With the first full quarter of consolidation of our Parliament business and approximately one month of earnings from our Whitehall operations we are pleased to see continuing strong underlying growth trends in our overall business.

"On 9 July, we closed our 42% investment in the Russian Alcohol Group, which has positioned our company to take full advantage of the strong growth trends in the mainstream and sub-premium vodka sectors in Russia. We look forward to working with Lion Capital to improve the operating performance of the Russian Alcohol Group and to address potential synergies between our operations."

The company has subsequently raised its full-year net sales guidance from between $1.57bn and $1.70bn to between $1.65bn and $1.80bn.