US soft drinks group Hansen Natural has seen first-half earnings double on the back of soaring sales of energy drinks brand Monster.

Operating income for the six months to the end of June leapt 101% to US$80.6m as sales jumped over 89% to US$275.8m.

Hansen's chairman and CEO, Rodney Sacks, yesterday (7 August) hailed an "exceptional" performance from the company.

"While the energy category continues to show strong growth over the prior year, the growth of Monster continues to outpace all of its major competitors," Sacks said.

Hansen also noted rising volumes of its stable of teas, lemonades and juice cocktails during the second quarter.

Last month, Florida was the first state to see Anheuser-Busch wholesalers distribute Hansen's products following a deal in May between the two companies. Sacks said: "Additional areas are in the process of being transitioned to selected Anheuser-Busch wholesalers during the third quarter."

The company said that it had "significantly increased" inventory levels during the last three months in advance of the A-B deal going live.