Allied Domecq, the owner of Beefeater gin and Malibu, has reported a 6% increase in profits before tax to £266m for the first half of the year, despite an adverse foreign currency translation movement of £12m.

At constant currency, normalised profit before tax increased by 12%, the company said.

Allied said it had delivered the results through the growth of spirits & wine gross margin, particularly from the core brands and premium wine.

The growth in spirits & wine was been driven by good trading in North America, a recovery in shipment volumes in Spain and strong value growth in the premium wine portfolio.

However, these successes were partly offset by declines in Asia Pacific and Latin America due to local economic and trading challenges.

At constant exchange rates, Spirits & Wine net turnover grew £31m (3%) to £1,263m, this was offset by a £13m reduction in Quick Service Restaurants turnover. As a result, group turnover was flat in the period. Reported turnover for the group declined by £35m (2%) to £1,704m of which £38m related to adverse year-on-year foreign exchange movements.

Philip Bowman, Chief Executive, said: "This is an excellent set of results delivering growth at the top end of expectations. On a constant currency basis, earnings per share increased by 12%. Volume growth in our core spirits brands of 6% and the increase in profits from our wine portfolio, up 11%, drove an increase of 5% in Spirits & Wine trading profit. Growth in sales and outlets within our Quick Service Restaurants business, along with the benefits from its recent restructuring, contributed an extra £11 million of trading profit. Marketing spend was up by 10% for our core brands and 12% for premium wine. The sustained increase in investment in advertising and promotion over the past four years is proving its worth.

"The quality of our performance in the US and the strong recovery in Spain more than made up for more subdued trading in Latin America and Asia Pacific. Outside the UK, the European economies remain challenging. Although there are many uncertainties in today's operating environment, not least the impact of global terrorism and the continued weakness of the US dollar, we remain confident that we are on track to deliver earnings growth in line with market expectations for the current financial year."

Looking forward the company said it still faced challenges operating in today's uncertain environment, not least the impact of global terrorism and the weakness of the US dollar.

"However, we remain optimistic that we are on track to deliver earnings growth in line with market expectations for the current financial year," it said in a statement.

The company's core brands saw volumes and net turnover grow by 6% driven by strong growth across nearly all the brands. Advertising and promotion behind the core brands was up 10% resulting in net brand contribution increasing by 5%.

Ballantine's grew both volumes and net turnover by 5%. Beefeater delivered another good performance in Spain helping total Beefeater volumes grow by 12% and net turnover by 14%.

Canadian Club has continued to grow share in the US and its ready-to-drink extensions in Australia performed well driving total volumes and net turnover up 3%.

Courvoisier volumes and net turnover both grew 1%, however its volumes in the US were down 1% reflecting a strong performance in the same period last year.

Kahlúa volumes grew 1% and net turnover by 4% reflecting the mix benefit
from strong growth in the US.

Malibu demonstrated strong growth with volumes up 16% and net turnover up by 10%.

Sauza delivered robust growth with volumes up 17% and net turnover increased by 12%.

But Tia Maria has disappointed with volumes down by 14% and net turnover down by 16%. This reflects lower Tia Maria sales which have been affected in the short-term by the recent focus on Tia Lusso.