LONDON — Courtaulds Textiles PLC Thursday reported a 29.8 percent drop in after-tax profits to $11.39 million (7.3 million pounds) at current exchange rates for the first half ended June 30. The company blamed difficult business conditions in its branded apparel division for the profits drop.

Sales rose 9.6 percent to $722.28 million (463 million pounds), including $23.87 million (15.3 million pounds) from new acquisitions.

The group’s main problem area was branded clothing, includings the Georges Rech line, Gossard lingerie, Aristoc hosiery and Lyle & Scott knitwear.

The unit had losses of $10.4 million (6.7 million pounds), compared with losses of 200,000 pounds the previous year. Sales rose 18.4 percent to $160.68 million (103 million pounds) from 87 million pounds, primarily because of the acquisition of the U.K. hosiery and sock businesses of The Hartstone Group PLC.

Noel Jervis, the group’s managing director, said losses were expected because the business is highly seasonal.

The other divisions of private-label apparel, fabrics, home furnishings and spinning all had increased profits in the half, but these were not enough to offset the decline in the branded apparel area, Jervis said. The fabric division had a 34.1 percent rise in profits to $19.03 million (12.2 million pounds) from 9.1 million pounds on a 13.9 percent increase in sales to $321.83 million (206.3 million pounds) from 181 million pounds.

The increase resulted from the purchase of lace and stretch fabric businesses in Spain, Germany and the U.S. during the period and profit on the sale of the French acetate ribbon business.