A Russian dairy and juice manufacturer is showing good signs of growth, despite rising costs.

Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods has posted its interim sales up 17.3% for the six months ended June 30 compared with the same period last year.

Gross profit was $143.2m compared with $121.8m last year. However operating income was posted at $31.6m compared with $38.4m during the same period last year.

Chief executive of the group, Sergei Plastinin, said: “We are pleased with the pace of sales growth in the first half of the year, despite the rising commercial cost base and a challenging competitive environment.

Looking to the future he said: “We see our leading position and tight focus on controlling costs as key to improving profitability.”

Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods owns 23 manufacturing facilities in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, distributing products in Canada, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.