March 21, 2017 / 7:56 PM / 5 months ago

Fonterra HY profit up 2.2 percent, but guidance cut

WELLINGTON, March 22 (Reuters) - New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra reported a 2.2 percent rise in half-year profit on Wednesday, lifted by earnings gains for its high-value consumer products.

But the world's largest world's largest dairy exporter cut its guidance for the full year because of dairy market volatility, reducing forecast earnings per share to 45 to 50 cents per share, from a range of 50 to 60 cents.

It said net profit after tax for the six months to Jan. 31 rose to NZ$418 million ($294 million), compared with NZ$409 million a year ago.

Fonterra held its forecast farmgate milk price to NZ$6 per kilogram. It announced an interim dividend of 20 New Zealand cents, the same as last year.

$1 = 1.4198 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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