The Dutch-based group recorded a rise in its nutrition arm of €384m up 14.8 per cent from €357 year-on-year. Success was also seen in the baby food section, which saw an 11.5 per cent rise from last year's €916m to €1,013m. Numico specialises in baby food and clinical nutrition products under the brand names Nutricia, Milupa, Cow & Gate and Dumex, among others. Nutrition growth was driven by 13.1 per cent rise in volume, and steady increases in all regions were experienced, the group said, with Europe seeing a 27 per cent rise in growth. Numico said the growth was due to its successful business model, as well as a "complete recovery of the German market". The UK, US, France and Brazil delivered particularly strong performances, the company said This business model has also been noticed by Danone, which last month put in a takeover bid of €12.3bn for the company. Danone's interest in Numico is part of a shifting focus to target a growing consumer demand for healthier products. Overall profit for the first half period for all Numico was €204m, with total sales at €1,404m, up from last year's €1,277m. Jan Bennink, chief executive and Numico president, said: "These topline and margin results confirm the overall operational strength of Numico's businesses and the agility of our people. "We have generated high-growth, high-margin results in the first half of 2007, while implementing price increases and cost-savings programs within a challenging raw material price environment. "Based on these strong results, we reconfirm that we are well on track to deliver a third consecutive year of double-digit growth with total organic sales growth of 10 to 12 per cent." Numico also saw "accelerated" growth for its baby food arm. Growth in western Europe rose from 3 per cent in 2006 to 4 per cent in the first half of 2007, with more sales felt in Italy and Belgium. This helped to offset underperformance in France, Numico said.