Swiss dairy firm Emmi has reported a 6.2% year-on-year increase in sales to CHF1.9 billion (€1.8 billion) in the first half of its financial year.
The company said that the positive performance was driven by renewed momentum in international business, successful brand concepts such as Emmi Caffè Latte and Kaltbach, and growth in strategic niches such as desserts.
The company's EBIT increased 15.5% to CHF 129.4 million (€120.9 million) in the first half, while EBIT margin increased to 6.9 % from 6.3% in the same period last year.
Net profit was up 21.4% year on year to CHF 98.7 million (€92.2 million), while net profit margin increased by 5.2 % compared to the same period last year.
In the Swiss domestic market, sales declined by 3.3%, in line with expectations, following a record first six months in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The company's other divisions reported strong organic sales growth, with Americas posting 11.9% growth to CHF 709.5 million and Europe up 4.9% to CHF 310.4 million.
In Europe, the company's fresh products and cheese sales saw organic sales growth of 3.5% and 11.5%, respectively. On the other hand, sales (organic) of dairy products declined by 6.5% to CHF46.4 million.
Its Europe division includes the Emmi Group companies in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK, Austria and Lácteos Caprinos in Spain.
'Sustainable And Profitable Growth'
Commenting on the company's performance, chief executive Urs Riedener, said, "Our proven strategy, which is geared towards sustainable and profitable growth, coupled with the consistent development of our company and product portfolio with strong brand concepts, continues to bear fruit.
"Overall, we succeeded in growing profitably on a broad basis in a difficult and still volatile environment. While we were able to outperform expectations and post strong growth internationally, as expected business in Switzerland settled at pre-crisis levels following the record first half of 2020, with continued significant losses in the foodservice and industrial customer businesses."
In July, the company published its 2021 sustainability report and said it was 'on track' to achieve its sustainability goals.
Emmi has forecast slightly higher organic growth, ranging between 2% to 3% at group level, based on the positive momentum in its international business.
It has projected a net profit margin of 5.2% to 5.7% and EBIT in the range of CHF 275 million to CHF 290 million.
Riedener commented, "For the full year, I am confident that we will achieve our annual targets, which have been adjusted slightly upwards in terms of sales, despite the continuing uncertainties with regard to economic developments and the further course of the pandemic."
The company added it does not expect business at all international subsidiaries to normalise until 2022.