The UB Group has reported a 30.38% growth in sales for the first half of the financial year 2006 to INR3.77bn (US$466m). The group, riding on strong spirit sales, reported a strong 170% growth in operating profit at INR643.1m while net profit soared by 397% to INR179m.

The group's business volumes grew by nearly 22% as compared to the industry average of 15.9%. UB Group's beer division had a very healthy first half of the year with its strong beer portfolio, led by Kingfisher Strong, registering a 37% increase in volumes as compared to the industry average of 17%.

The group has finalised expansion plans, which will see investments of over INR4bn in the next seven years, including one new brewery at an undeclared location in addition to the existing two new greenfield breweries coming up in Rajasthan and Orissa.

Meanwhile, the group's other listed company, McDowell & Co. also reported strong growth in the first six months of the financial year, with sales growing by 19.6% to INR10.16bn. The company's net profit grew by 62% to INR160m.