ARYZTA, the Swiss bakery group, conceded its third-quarter performance was hit by "short-term weakness" today (2 June) when it reported a drop in underlying sales on declines in North America and weak consumer sentiment in Switzerland.

Underlying sales, stripping out the impact of M&A, fell 2.3% in the three months to 30 April. Like-for-like sales were down 6.7% in North America. CEO Owen Killian noted the trend is expected to continue in the fourth quarter. On comparable sales in Europe he added: "[The] Food Europe [division] has yet to recover in Switzerland, where the consumer economy has suffered since the removal of the currency peg in January and in France due to security concerns in the quarter."

MainFirst analyst Alain Oberhuber said organic sales missed his expectations. Oberhuber had predicted organic sales would drop 1.5%.

Aryzta also missed the market's net revenue expectations: total sales of EUR973m (US$1.07bn) were up 13.2% versus consensus forecasts of 16.8%.

Looking to the ful year, Aryzta forecast underlying fully diluted EPS is expected to be circa 400 euro cents.