Russian health and beauty giant Pharmacy Chain 36.6 has delivered strong results for the first half of this year, as it ramps up its private label offer.

The group’s consolidated sales soared by 46 per cent to US$563.8 million (£293.8 million). Retail sales were up 50 per cent to US$449.7 million (£234.3 million). During the period, the group sold its European Medical Center business to Goldencorp Enterprises.

The retailer, Russia’s largest health and beauty player, operates 1,192 stores in 29 regions. It opened 38 pharmacies and closed 71 in the period. It also operates 10 Early Learning Centre stores on a franchise basis, along with 14 standalone optical outlets and 22 optical departments within pharmacies.

Pharmacy Chain 36.6 – its moniker refers to the ideal body temperature in centigrade for healthy adults and children – is also stepping up its private label range. Its latest offering, a private label line of vitamins, will be in all pharmacies by September.

Pharmacy Chain 36.6 deputy general director and director for portfolio development Herman Inozemtsev said: “We plan that private label vitamin sales will reach US$40 million by the end of 2009 and the vitamin share of private label product sales will reach 2 to 3 per cent. The 36.6 vitamins will cost 10 per cent less than similar products from other manufacturers.”