Swedish confectioner Cloetta has seen half-year sales slide due to the end of its licensing agreement with Fazer Confectionery.

Cloetta said yesterday (23 March) that net sales fell 5.5% to SEK735m (US$91.3m) during the six months to the end of February. Operating profit more than halved, falling from SEK51m to SEK25m.

The company, which demerged from Fazer late last year, said sales of its own products rose by 2.4% during the six months.

“Cloetta’s products sold well throughout the entire six-month period,” said MD Curt Petri.

However, Petri said the weakening of the Swedish krona had meant raw material costs had risen.

“We will therefore be forced to make additional price hikes in 2009. At the same time, we will continue our successful efforts to optimise efficiency,” Petri said.

The Cloetta boss also warned that the company would make a full-year loss due to costs linked to the demerger of Cloetta Fazer.