Finnish food group HKScan has reaffirmed its full-year guidance while issuing a mixed first-half performance in what it described as a “challenging” business environment.

HKScan narrowed its net losses in the first six months of the year to EUR3.7m (US$4.9m) from EUR4.4m a year earlier. EBIT, however, was down 15.8% to EUR4.8m.

CEO Hannu Kottonen said consumer and customer demand in Europe during the first half of the year was lower than pig and poultry production, which kept stock levels high and sales prices low, especially in exports.

Sales, therefore, did not quite reach the previous year’s figures, it said. Sales were down 1.6% to EUR1.21bn.

HKScan said it was keeping its full-year outlook unchanged but expected group EBIT to improve from 2012.