Russian Sea Group has reported an increase in half-year sales, driven by rising sales of ready-to-eat seafood.

The company reported on Tuesday (9 August) that sales for the first half of 2011 were up 18% to RUB8.5bn (US$285.5m).

Sales of ready-to-eat seafood increased 36% to RUB2.3bn. Volumes in the division rose 15% and selling prices grew 18%.

Ready-to-eat sales increased on the back of a range of measures, including the increased prices and a TV campaign in January, as well as a promotional campaign in March and April.

Revenue from chilled and frozen seafood increased by 6% to RUB6.8bn. Volumes increased by 1%, while the average sales price increased by 6%. The company attributed the return to growth to the restored supply of Norwegian salmon and trout, combined with rising regional sales and marketing activities.

CEO Dmitry Dangauer said: “In the second half of 2011 we will continue to implement optimisation measures including changes in product mix, further cost cutting, launch of surimi production in St. Petersburg at our own production facilities. We pay special attention to development of regional distribution and particularly increasing sales in traditional retail.”

He added that in the second half Russian Sea Group will work to “further restore the profitability of the group and to increase our sales volumes”.

In June, private-equity firm Volga Resources acquired a 30% stake in Russian Sea Group.

The deal will see Volga and RS Group, the seafood firm’s majority shareholder, create a new company that will own 60.9% of Russian Sea Group. Volga and RS Group each own half of the new holding company.

RS Group owner Maxim Vorobiev owned 61.4% of Russian Sea Group before the transaction.