Lebedyansky has posted a healthy lift in its first half figures.

The Russian juice, mineral water and baby food producer said late last week that operating profit for the six months to the end of June rose by 17% on the corresponding period a year earlier, hitting US$92.3m. Sales were also up, by a more impressive 38% to $476.9m.

Net profit for the period increased by 9%, the company said, reaching $78.2m.

In volume terms, sales totalled 585.1m litres, an increase of 28% against last year. While juice volumes were up by 25% to 514.4m litres, mineral water volumes were up by a marked 115% to 35.5m litres.

The company noted that it maintained its leading position in the Russian juice market, accounting for 31.1% volume share and 32.2% value share.

Lebedyansky credited its sales increase to the regional expansion of its distribution system, increased development of direct delivery and "efficient pricing and marketing policies".

Margins were hit - albeit minimally - by global purchasing price increases for raw materials. Juice gross margins slipped in the half from 41.7% a year earlier to 41.2%.

In the second half of last year, Lebedyansky acquired the St Petersburg-based juice company Troya-Ultra. Stripping out Troya-Ultra's contribution, net sales rose 38% to $476.9m in value terms and by 14% to 468.7m litres in volume terms.

Separately, Lebedyansky announced that it has appointed Denis Bakin as logistics director. Bakin joins the company from National Logistics Company in Russia.