Spanish private-label chocolate manufacturer and cocoa supplier Natra swung to a loss of EUR2m in the first quarter of the year, with its EBITDA lower and sales flat.

Natra’s net loss compared to a profit of EUR144,000 in the first quarter of 2016. It came after a 42% fall in EBITDA to EUR3.9m.

Sales dipped 0.4% EUR86.4m, while Natra said its EBITDA in the first quarter of 2016 was helped by the benefit of a refinancing agreement signed at the end of 2015. Natra said its EBITDA in the first quarter of 2016 would have be “similar” to that generated in the opening three months of 2017 if that factor is excluded from the results.

The drop in sales came despite volumes inching up 0.7%. Natra’s industrial division saw sales rise 16.1% to EUR33.6m. The company’s consumer-facing business reported an 8.3% drop in sales, with volumes down by a similar percentage, it said.

In March, Natra posted an annual loss of EUR12.2m for 2016 after booking an impairment charge of more than EUR5m, and lapping a year of higher financial income.

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