Swiss food maker Huegli today (14 April) revealed that its revenues in the first quarter of this year had fallen by over 15% due to softer sales in Germany and the impact of currency exchange.

Huegli, which makes products including soups, ready meals and desserts, said its consolidated sales in the first three months of 2011 were down 15.7% at CHF90.9m (US$101.6m).

The strength of the Swiss franc had a 9.3 percentage point impact on sales. The disposal of a product line also hit sales. Looking at its ongoing business activities, Huegli said first-quarter sales were down 2.6%, with sales in Germany down 5%.

On an organic basis, Huegli is forecasting that sales will rise by up to 5% in 2011, although it warned that the growth will be “more than eliminated” by the impact of the Swiss franc and the disposal. It is targeting revenues of CHF360m, down from the CHF372.2m it filed for 2010.

The company is forecasting that its EBIT for 2011 will be “in line” with 2010 due to higher commodity costs. Consolidated profits will be lower as the profit from the disposal of the product line will not be included.

Huegli posted its first-quarter figures and set out its 2011 forecast after reporting falling sales for 2010 but record earnings.

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Sales dipped 4.7% to CHF372.2m, despite a 3.2% increase on an organic basis. Cost management and an improved product mix drove a 7.1% increase in EBIT in 2010 to CHF37.8m. Consolidated profits were up 18.1% to CHF27.4m due to the better EBIT and the one-off sale of a product line.