Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli expects faster sales growth in the second half of 2016, the company said while reporting a 6.6% rise in sales during the first six months. 

"This should enable the company to achieve its strategic targets for the full year," the maker of chocolate bunnies and Lindor truffles said today. 

Sales rose to 1.50 billion Swiss francs ($1.53 billion), in line with a 1.502 billion francs estimate in a Reuters poll, in what is traditionally the weaker half year for the highly seasonal company. 

Underlying sales growth was 4.4%, below Lindt's long- term target range of 6-8%.

Net profit was 72.2 million francs, just ahead of analyst forecasts of 70.9 million francs. 

The company generates most of its sales ahead of Christmas. 

The company, based in Kilchberg near Zurich, said it was battling a challenging environment, with high raw material prices and subdued consumer sentiment in many countries.

It has also been pruning the product line-up of Russell Stover, the US chocolate maker Lindt bought in 2014, as well as facing tough comparisons with last year. 

"In this difficult environment, Lindt & Spruengli once again succeeded in outperforming the chocolate market as a whole and gaining important market shares in the first half of 2016," the company, led by 70-year-old Swiss native Ernst Tanner, said.