US pharma group Abbott Laboratories has reported a rise in second-quarter sales from its paediatric nutrition division, although the increase was not enough to stem a fall in the first half of the year.

Abbott booked a 1.4% rise in sales to US$987m in the second quarter, helped by continued solid growth in the US and a slower rate of sales decline internationally.

However, in the first half overall, sales were down 1.3% at $1.91bn. In the first quarter, sales had fallen 4.1% year-on-year.

On a comparable basis, which excludes exchange rates, the Similac brand owner said its first-half sales paediatric nutrition dipped 0.4% year-on-year.

Reflecting on the second quarter, Abbott said its sales growth in the US was above the rate of the growth in the market and was driven by recently launched infant-formula products and by its PediaSure toddler brand. International sales declined 3.7%, with market conditions in China still “challenging”, Abbott said. In the first quarter, Abbott’s international paediatric nutrition sales fell 12.2% year-on-year.