Switzerland: Nestlé has reported an 8.5% jump in first-half like-for-like sales, topping market predictions. However, the dramatic strengthening of the Swiss franc weighed on sales figures from continuing operations, which were down 5% on the same period last year.Ukraine: Diamond Foods has got all the anti-monopoly signatories it needs to buy Pringles after the Ukraine gave the $2.35bn deal the green light. The German, US and UK authorities have already given their approval for the acquisition, originally announced in April. Buying the global crisp brand from Procter & Gamble will triple the size of the Diamond snack business. The final hurdle to the deal’s completion remains the approval of Diamond’s shareholders which is expected by the end of the year. Belgium: Delhaize’s profits fell 7.9% and its operating margin 20 base points to 4.1% in the second quarter. The owner of Food Lion stores in the US said like-for-like sales were up but a decision not to keep up with US food inflation had squeezed margins. In its domestic market in Belgium, sales remained flat and it lost market share. Australia: Coca-Cola Amatil is to close a factory that produced upmarket packaged fruit and vegetables in Victoria, Australia, blaming the exchange rate for the closure. “The strengthening of the Australian dollar over the past three years has regrettably led to a significant increase in the volume of cheap packaged fruit and veg products being imported into Australia,” said MD Terry Davis. Costs linked to the closure totalled $80.5m, fuelling a 28% drop in profits to $153.6m for the first six months of the year.Germany: Laundry detergent to cosmetics business Henkel has reported an 8% increase in second-quarter operating profits despite raw material price hikes. “This was driven by increased selling prices across all business sectors,” said CEO Kasper Rorsted. Henkel has also tweaked its organic sales forecast for the year to 5% from 3% to 5% after second-quarter sales rose 6.3% to $3.95bn.
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