China Huiyuan Juice Group has posted a slight lift in net profit for the first six months of this year, while sale registered a slight fall.

Huiyuan, which earlier this month confirmed it is set to be acquired by Coca-Cola Co., said today (10 September) that net profit for the six months to the end of June rose by 7.2% on the corresponding period a year earlier, totalling CNY367.3m. Sales, meanwhile, slipped by 5.2% year-on-year to CNY1.37bn.

Sales of 100% fruit juices and nectars, which accounted for 57.5% of the group's sales, fell by 12% due to the seasonality of the group's sales and adverse impact of the natural disasters in China in the first half of 2008. Sales of 100% fruit juices, which accounted for 19.3% of sales, slipped by 5.8%, primarily due to a 12.4% decrease in sales volume, partly offset by a 7.5% increase in average selling price.

Cost of sales at the company increased by 4.8% to RMB902.9m, due primarily to an increase in raw material costs and depreciation charges.

Huiyuan's board did not recommend the payment of an interim dividend for the period.

Earlier this month, Coca-Cola launched a US$2.4bn takeover bid for Huiyuan, in what could be the second largest acquisition in the US soft drink firm's history.