Swiss dairy group Emmi has booked an increase in sales for 2010, boosted by acquisitions during the year and “encouraging” international growth.

Sales in 2010 increased 2.5% to reach CHF2.68bn (US$2.85bn). Sales, the firm said today (3 February), were “slightly higher than expected”. Organic growth, excluding the impact of M&A and currency fluctuation, was 1.3%.

Net sales in Switzerland rose by 0.4% to CHF1.95bn, while Emmi achieved sales of CHF732m in its international markets, an 8.4% increase on 2009.

In April, Emmi bought local cheese maker Fromalp, and in August acquired California-based Cypress Grove Chèvre in a bid to strengthen its position in the US cheese market.

Emmi CEO Urs Riedener said: “The results show that we are on track with our strategy. The focus on major key markets and the strengthening of successful brand platforms are showing the expected positive effects.”

Looking ahead, Emmi said it expects consumer sentiment to remain stable in its two most important foreign markets, Germany and the US. However, the business said it would have to increase prices to offset the impact of the rising Swiss franc.

“The strength of the Swiss franc will result in further price rises. The effect of these on the customers’ demand, especially for cheese, remains a risk,” the firm said.

Emmi shares dropped 0.9% to CHF214.10 at 09:20 GMT.

Click here to view the full earnings release.