Savencia Fromage & Dairy, the France-based dairy company, reported lower first-half sales as it continued to feel the pressure of fluctuations in exchange rates and lower prices of dairy commodities.

The company, formerly known as Bongrain, said that sales were down 4% in the period to EUR2.09bn (US$2.13bn). Stripping out forex, sales dipped 0.7%. The company said organic growth in cheese remains “penalised” by a “negative price effect”. Branded cheese volumes were up 0.2% in the six months to 30 June. Organic volumes in other dairy products dipped 0.9% reflecting world prices, the group continued.

Operating profit was “stable” at EUR86.1m versus EUR85.8m in the year-ago period. In particular, Savenica said that its international margin strengthened in the period, rising to 4.1% of sales. Net earnings fell to EUR31m from EUR35m.

Looking to the remainder of the year, Savencia flagged “uncertainties” facing the global dairy industry, currency volatility, and “destructive price value” as challenges facing the group.