Hain Celestial, the US organic food group, has booked stronger half-year profits and sales, buoyed by accelerating growth in its second quarter.

The company posted a 31.6% increase in first-half net income to US$25.4m for the six months to 31 December. Net sales were up 16.4% at $549.8m.

In its second quarter, Hain Celestial’s net income increased 45% to $16.3m; net sales were up 21% at $291.9m.

President and CEO Irwin Simon called the company’s financial performance “solid” and reflected the “strength” of the consumption trends the business had started seeing over a year ago.

“Consumers remain committed to maintaining healthy lifestyles and enjoying our products, and we’re seeing improved sales across various classes of trade as we drive core distribution in these channels,” Simon said yesterday (3 February).

Reflecting on the UK, where Hain Celestial, among its private-label interests, owns the Linda McCartney meat-free brand, Simon said: “While the United Kingdom environment remains difficult for us, we are seeing sales growth and margin improvement.”

Hain Celestial, which also announced two acquisitions in Europe yesterday, saw its shares close up 1.5% at $27.65.

Click here for the full earnings statement from Hain.