The chief executive of Swedish retailer Axfood has said the company’s sales are “unsatisfactory” after revenue stayed flat during the first half of the year.

President and CEO Anders Strålman made the admission after Axfood saw sales inch up 1% to SEK14.3bn (US$2.2bn) during the first six months of the year. On a like-for-like basis, sales rose a mere 0.6%.

“Mounting competition in certain local markets – mainly through new establishment – is having an adverse impact on total sales,” Strålman said. “Sales growth is not satisfactory so we will take measures in order to improve the development.”

Axfood’s profit growth was healthier, however, with first-half earnings up 7% to SEK537m.