Business information giant VNU has delivered robust results for the first half of the year.

The Netherlands-headquartered world number one marketing data provider reported underlying profits up by 11%. Sales grew 6% to €1.65 billion ($2.03bn; £1.13bn) and EBITDA rose to €296m from €280m.

VNU tipped its Nielsen Media Research television ratings unit as its top performer for 2005.

The company has transformed itself from a publisher into a leading information provider by selling off its consumer magazine, regional newspaper and directories units. Under the direction of ceo Rob van den Bergh, it has shifted its key operations to New York and made a series of multibillion euro acquisitions over the last five years.

Van den Bergh says the group is in a "very strong position, with excellent growth prospects for the balance of the year and beyond".

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff