Nestlé has posted a drop of 6.2% in first half sales but the Swiss food giant claimed the adverse currency exchange rate masked organic growth of 5.5%. Sales fell to SF41.4bn from SF44.2bn for the same period last year. Operating profit declined 4.5% to SF5.04bn from SF5.3bn.

Dutch retailer Laurus has signed an agreement with the Belgian arm of French retailer Carrefour to sell 20 of the 28 Battard and Central Cash stores which Laurus still operates in Belgium.

Laurus Belgium will continue to run the 20 stores under the Super GB fascia until GB franchisees nominated by Carrefour take them over.

n Ukraine debut

German giant Metro has opened its first cash and carry store in the Ukraine, in the capital Kiev. It now operates in 27 countries. Metro chief executive Hans-Joachim Körber said the group was the first major international trading company to operate in the Ukraine.