Kraft Foods has booked an increase in first-half profits, despite recording a fall in sales, thanks to productivity and price gains.

In the six months to the end of June, net profit increased 4.2% to US$1.85bn. Operating profit in the period amounted to $3.75bn, a 3.4% increase on the prior-year period.

Sales dropped 0.3% to $26.38bn as a result of currency headwinds and a negative 0.5 percentage point impact from “product pruning”.

Nevertheless, on an organic basis, which excludes the impacts of divestitures, currency and accounting calendar changes, sales were up 4.9%.

Kraft reported an increase in sales in North America 1.2% to $12.4bn. In Europe, sales declined 5.9% to $6.15bn, but on an organic basis grew 1.6%.

The company said the planned split of the company in two, creating a North American grocery company and a global snacks manufacturer, will take place in October.

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“As we look forward, we’re confident that we’re launching two industry-leading companies, each with a great future,” said CFO David Brearton.