Confectionery and drinks company Cadbury Schweppes has reported a rise in sales and pre-tax profits for the half ended 19 June 2005, with growth led by Halls in an 'exceptional cough and cold season," for Americans.

Sales in the half were £3.127bn, compared with 2.954bn in the same period the year before. Profits before tax were £344m, compared with £312m the year before.

Confectionery sales rose by 7%, led by growth of 9% in Cadbury Dairy Milk, 15% in Trident and 17% in Halls.

"We've had a strong start to the year as increased investment in growth and focus on innovation and marketplace execution have had a positive impact on our businesses around the world," said CEO Todd Stitzer. "Although the external environment is likely to remain challenging, we will continue to increase investment behind long-term growth and expect to deliver within our goal ranges for the full year."

The key factors behind the strong first half performance were the combination of a significant increase in growth related investment; innovation and smart variety; improved market-place execution and strong demand in a number of our key categories, the company said. We maintained or grew our share in most of our key markets around the world.

In the Americas, Halls sales were boosted by an exceptional cough and cold season in the US, and gum markets continued to grow strongly. The company is separately announcing the appointment of Jim Chambers, currently president of Rémy Amérique, as president, Americas Confectionery succeeding Matt Shattock, now president, EMEA Confectionery.