Israeli drugmaker Agis Industries (TASE:AGIS) sustained its uptrend in the second quarter.

Profits shot up 56% to NIS 11.7 million, Agis reported on Tuesday, while revenues increased 13% to NIS 353 million.

For the first half, Agis reported netting NIS 20.1 million, 17% more than in the parallel six months of 2001.

Revenues from January to June climbed to NIS 685.1 million, versus NIS 633.4 million in the comparable half of last year.

In 2001 Agis reported a steep drop in profits and warned that it might end 2002 with losses. But results clawed up on surging demand for products made by subsidiary Chemagis, and new U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals for Agis' U.S. subsidiary Clay Park.

Most of the second-quarter improvement derives from its international operations, Agis says.

Sales abroad jumped 53% in the second quarter to NIS 188.5 million, or 53% of its total sales. Its success in the United States helped Agis overcome slipping performance at home, due to the recession. Drug sales and profitability have eroded, as have sales of consumer goods in Israel.

Drug sales were NIS 282 million in the second quarter, up 21.7% from the parallel quarter. Consumer goods contributed NIS 71.1 million, 11% down from the corresponding three months of last year.

Rising sales and eroding sales costs helped Agis achieve 24% growth in operating profit to NIS 133.3 million, or 37.7% of its turnover, compared with 34.5% in the parallel quarter.

Operating profits for the quarter soared 135% to NIS 25 million.

R&D spending stayed hefty at NIS 26 million, up 11% from the same quarter of last year. Agis says it plans to continue spending heavily on research, with an eye toward increasing its activities outside Israel.