Finland-based meat processor Atria has lowered its forecasts for its annual net sales and EBIT.

The company had expected its net sales and EBIT to rise this year. However, the business now sees its net sales matching the level generated in 2017 and its EBIT falling.

In 2017, Atria generated net sales of EUR1.43bn (US$1.66bn) – up 5.9% on 2016 – and consolidated EBIT of EUR40.9m, which was 28.6% higher than the previous year.

Weaker-than-expected results in Sweden, as well as exchange rates, were cited as reasons for the new forecasts.

In the opening six months of 2018, Atria ran up net sales of EUR704.6m, compared to EUR701m in the corresponding period of 2017. Sales in Finland rose but were down in Sweden, Russia and in Atria’s business unit covering Denmark and Estonia.

Atria’s first-half EBIT stood at EUR8.8m, versus EUR11.2m a year earlier.

CEO Juha Gröhn said: “The sales of barbeque products went well, but this was not enough to increase our net sales. The profits for the second quarter fell short of expectations. All business areas are working hard to improve cost control. Measures to continuously improve productivity and to manage pricing have been intensified.”