A “sharp increase” in cost of raw milk and the negative impact of currency exchange weighed on first-quarter earnings at Italian dairy giant Parmalat.

In the three months to 31 March, the company, majority-owned by France’s Lactalis, said EBITDA fell 19.4% and net profit sank 14.4%.

Sales at the group were down 3.2% but, “at constant scope of consolidation” and exchange rates, increased 7.8% in the period.

The company reaffirmed its full-year outlook. “At constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation and excluding the effect of hyperinflation, the previously announced growth rate estimates for net revenues (3%) and EBITDA (3%) are confirmed,” it said.

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