UK consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser has recorded an increase in profits from its foods division in the first half of the year.

In the six months to the end of June, the owner of French’s mustard brand booked a 6.1% increase in operating profit from its foods unit to GBP36m (US$56.5m). The increase was boosted by “continued growth” from its French’s Mustard and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce brands.

Operating margins, however, fell by 70 basis points to 23.1% due to pricing benefits being more than offset by adverse mix and input costs, the company said.

Sales for the division increased 4% to GBP156m. 

Food is a small part of Reckitt Benckiser’s business. Group net income amounted to GBP779m, an increase of 3% on last year, while net sales edged up 1.1% to GBP4.67bn. Operating profits climbed 1.9% to GBP1.07bn.

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