Russian retailer Dixy has booked an increase in sales and profits during the first half, with gains driven by a 24% increase in selling space.

The company said this morning (5 September) first-half sales were up 23.4% to RUB87.38bn (US$2.61bn). During the period the company opened 108 outlets. Dixy did not provide details on like-for-like sales.

Operating profit was up 30.4% in the six months, rising to RUB2.9bn on improved gross margins and a dip in advertising spend. Gross margins rose 180 bps to 29.9% of sales from 28.1% of sales in the comparable period of last year. Higher payroll, lease, D&A and maintenance expenses muted operating margins, which rose ten basis bps to 3.3%.

Net profit rose 39% to RUB696m, boosted by a lower income tax expense booked in the second-quarter.