US confectionery giant Wrigley has today (30 July) recorded a 20% leap in first-half profits buoyed by robust international sales.

Wrigley, the world’s largest gum producer, posted operating profit of US$473.1m for the six months to the end of June.

The company said rising volumes had accounted for much of the increase in profit, although the benefit from translating foreign currencies to the weaker US dollar accounted for over a third of the gain.

Nevertheless, revenue climbed 15% as Wrigley’s international sales continued to grow, up 14% during the second quarter thanks to growth in Europe and Asia.

Russia and Eastern Europe drove Wrigley’s sales growth in Europe; the company also saw “double-digit” gains in Poland, Spain and Germany.

Wrigley admitted that UK sales had slowed during the second quarter but insisted its performance there was its best in the last three years. Wrigley’s Asian revenues jumped almost 16% thanks to strength in China.

In North America, sales rose 3% despite a dip in volumes as a round of price increases boosted revenue.

Wrigley president and CEO Bill Perez said: “Our strong first half performance and our ongoing focus on operational efficiency puts us in an excellent position to make the necessary investments in second half product and marketing initiatives to keep our business growing, while still achieving full-year results within our long-term earnings growth objective of 9-11 percent.”