Revenue and operating profit growth of 4% and 6% respectively despite the impact of weakening Asian currencies
Excluding the impact of exchange rates, revenue and operating profit 6% and 8% higher
Rafferty's Garden acquisition completed in the period for £42.2m in cash and performing well
Strong balance sheet with a small net debt position following the Rafferty's acquisition
Interim dividend raised to 2.53p representing a 7.7% increase
Revenue and operating profit growth in Nigeria across all categories
Trading environment slightly improved in the north of Nigeria despite ongoing disruption
New brands Mamador and Devon King's launched in the period as part of the palm oil joint venture with Wilmar which is performing well
Underlying performance in Australia and Indonesia strong despite significant weakening in exchange rates
Continued expansion during the period of the Asian brand portfolio into neighbouring geographies
Robust performance in UK Washing and Bathing division with new product launches key to attracting consumers
All four brands in the Beauty division have seen good progress, and in particular St Tropez which has benefited from the appointment of Kate Moss as brand ambassador at the start of summer
Strong performance in Poland in both Home Care and Personal Care
Encouraging performance in Greece with growth in both revenue and profitability
Commenting today, Richard Harvey (Chairman) said:
"The Group has delivered a good result for the half year with growth in both revenue and profitability. This has been achieved despite a significant weakening in Asian currencies, and in particular the Australian dollar and Indonesian rupiah. Our performance in the UK has been particularly robust and growth is improving in all our categories in Nigeria.
Trading conditions in all geographies remain challenging and the Group's focus on innovation and brand development continues to ensure profitable growth is achieved in the markets and categories in which we operate.
It has been particularly pleasing to see the progress of the palm oil joint venture with Wilmar with the refinery operating well and the new brands Mamador and Devon King's being launched during the period.
The acquisition of Rafferty's Garden marked the Group's entry into the Asian Food and Nutrition category and we are pleased with its performance since acquisition and are excited about its potential.
Our balance sheet remains strong and we have the appetite to pursue further investment opportunities which fit our strategic aims.
I am delighted that we are declaring an interim dividend increase of 7.7%, continuing our track record of dividend growth.
Our overall performance since the period end has been in line with management expectations. Whilst the trading environment in most markets remains challenging, and in particular in Asia as a result of ongoing currency weakness, brand renovation and innovation continues to drive revenue and profit growth across the Group."