Toyota Motor Europe boosted sales 10% in the first half to 589,950 units, outpacing the market, the company said on Monday.

It added in a statement cited by Reuters that its has set a European target for 2006 of exceeding 1m in Toyota brand sales and 45,000 in Lexus brand sales.

While sales in Toyota's three largest markets - the UK, Germany and Italy - remained largely flat at roughly 71,000 units each, sales in France gained 11% to around 52,000 while soaring 41% in Russia to almost 44,000 vehicles.

June Toyota sales rose 13% to 111,978 units thanks to strong demand for models like the RAV4 compact off roader and the Aygo minicar.

The sales boost gave Toyota a market share of 6%, a gain of 0.8 percentage points, Reuters said.

Lexus doubled European sales to 26,941 vehicles in the first half, the report added.