Finnish meat firm HKScan has forecast higher profits in 2012 after a year when lower earnings and losses in Denmark weighed on its results.

HKScan, which supplies beef, pork and poultry to retailers and industry customers in northern Europe, said its EBIT would be "better" this year after a 17.5% fall in 2011.

In Sweden, HKScan's EBIT fell as it lapped a year when it benefited from one-off gains. Further south in Denmark, the company made an operating loss of EUR3.7m (US$4.9m) due to the combination of low sales prices for chicken leg quarters in the EU and the Middle East, as well as high raw material prices. Group EBIT reached EUR39.6m, compared to EUR48m in 2010.

However, the company's net sales increased 17.9% to EUR2.49bn after revenues rose across all its markets.

CEO Matti Perkonoja, who is due to leave the company next month, said its "market position" in "all the company's areas" was "strong".

HKScan's net profit for 2011 more than halved due to a rise in finance costs. It fell from EUR27.9m to EUR10.1m.