August 21, 2012 / 5:42 AM / 5 years ago

Lindt sees consumer sentiment under more pressure

* Lindt H1 net profit 36.6 mln Sfr

* Poll was for 38.5 mln Sfr

* Euro crisis, weak economic growth to weigh on consumer sentiment

ZURICH, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Lindt & Spruengli's expects consumers to become even more cautious as the euro zone crisis drags on as it reported a first-half net profit that fell short of expectations.

The confectioner, famous for its gold foil-wrapped rabbits, saw net profit rise 14 percent to 36.6 million Swiss francs ($37.61 million), compared with a forecast of 38.5 million francs in a Reuters poll.

"The euro crisis and general economic background conditions seem likely to become still more challenging in the second half of the year with consumer sentiment further impaired in a number of countries," it said.

Nevertheless, the firm, which generates the lion's share of its sales at Christmas time, stuck to its medium to long-term sales and profit targets, and said it expects organic growth of between 6 and 8 percent in local currencies for 2012.

Last month, Barry Callebaut, the world's largest chocolate products maker, also said it expects to meet its financial targets despite a slowdown in sales.

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