Swiss luxury chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli has posted a narrower first-half pre-tax loss of CHF13.4m (US$9.4m), compared to CHF19.0m a year earlier.

Lindt said first-half sales rose 3.3% to CHF673m, a rise of 7.4% in local currencies. Analysts had expected sales of CHF655m and a pre-tax loss of around CHF18.1m.

The company’s operating loss was CHF10.3m, compared to CHF14.5m a year earlier, due to the sales rise, efficiency improvements and price increases. Lindt typically records a first-half operating loss, as the second half accounts for more than 60% of its business because of the key Christmas season, reported Reuters.