Bongrain has seen a decline in second quarter sales as higher domestic milk prices hit the dairy group's competitiveness in France.

The French firm said turnover totalled EUR1.58bn (US$2.25bn) in the period ended 30 June, down from EUR1.76bn for the comparable period of last year.

While the company saw a rebound in its cheese sales during the second quarter compared to the first three months of the year, sales were nevertheless down 6.5%. Sales of other dairy products dropped 17.4%, the company added.

Bongrain said that the high price it pays for milk in France - which was agreed at an industry-wide level to settle an altercation on price with protesting farmers - hampered its ability to deliver products that are priced in-line with global dairy prices.

"In France, the high price of milk promotes imports from other European countries and affects the competitiveness of exports," Bongrain said.

The company said that it has responded by developing its brands through innovation and promotional activity.

Bongrain's interim results will be released on 27 August.