Raisio has pointed to competition for a fall in sales fall in the first quarter, a period when the Finnish food group saw mixed profitability.

In the three months to the end of March, net sales fell to EUR114m (US$129.9m) from EUR122.5m a year earlier.

Raisio said competition “intensified” in both the UK and Finland. In the UK, the company was affected by higher retailer promotions. In Finland, Raisio said it came under particular pressure from the growth of private label, which pushed down prices of consumer products.

The group reported net income of EUR7.4m, down from EUR7.5m in the first quarter of 2015. However, EBIT rose to EUR9.7m from EUR9.6m.

Following Raisio’s licencing of the Honey Monster and Good Grain cereal brands in the UK to Brecks last month, Raisio said it is focusing on “healthy, ecological snacks”.

Raisio Q1 sales by segment

  • Healthy snacking – down to EUR30.1m from EUR33.9m. Impacted by “difficult market conditions” in the UK healthy snacking division on the back of increasing competition. 
  • Benecol – down to EUR34.4m from EUR34.5m. Good sales in UK and Poland were offset by sales in Finland not meeting comparison period level.
  • Confectionery – up to EUR25.8m from EUR24.9m. “Clear sales growth” in the Czech Republic for Raisio’s brands, and profitability up in UK and Czech Republic.