Swedish confectioner Cloetta has today (24 August) reported higher half-year losses, hit by higher commodity costs but also its merger with rival Leaf International.

Cloetta booked a loss of SEK241m (US$36.5m) for the six months to the end of June, compared to a loss of SEK179m a year earlier.

It recorded an operating loss of SEK47m, against operating profit of SEK147m in the first half of 2011.

The company cited costs from the transaction between Cloetta and Leaf, announced last December and completed in February. It also pointed to costs incurred from restructuring the combined business, including a revamp of its factories and supply chain.

Underlying EBITA, which excludes the one-off charges, dropped 44.8% to SEK103m. Cloetta pointed to higher commodity costs, particularly sugar.

Net sales were up 6.2% at SEK2.3bn, although underlying net sales decreased 2.4% to SEK2.4bn. Cloetta said underlying sales excluded currency fluctuation, a distribution business in Belgium it sold to German confectioner Katjes International and a third-party deistribution deal in Italy. It said weak market conditions hit its underlying sales.

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By GlobalData

Click here to read comments from Cloetta’s chief executive on the firm’s first-half results.