Swiss food retailer Bon Appetit Group has reported a 3.7% fall in first-half sales to CHF1.5bn (US$1.1bn) but said there had been signs of improvement.

Bon Appetit attributed the fall in sales to lower sales at smaller outlets and in catering supplies. The retailer also said, however, that after a particularly weak May, sales have improved, reported Dow Jones International News.

The company said that the publication of a bid by German retailer Rewe for the Swiss chain would be delayed until 2 September due to the lengthy preparation of a merger report for the European Commission.

Rewe is to take over Curti & Co, which owns a stake of around 53% in Bon Appetit. A public offer for the remainder of the shares will run for 20 days from 3 September.