Chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut has bucked a declining overall EMEA chocolate market to grow its volumes 6.4%.
Announcing its full-year results to 31 August, the business also reported a 6.4% increase in EMEA sales to £2.2bn (CHF2.9bn), with recurring operating profit up 3.6% in local currencies.
In contrast, EMEA chocolate confectionery market sales volume fell 0.5% from August 2016 to September 2017 (Nielsen - 26 countries).
The company said acquiring the Halle factory in Belgium from Mondelēz International, and the D’Orsogna Dolciaria business in Italy, as well as further capacity expansion in Europe, would drive future growth and enable the business to serve European customers better.
Overall group sales – including the Americas and Asia-Pacific – rose 1.2% in local currencies to £5.2bn (CHF6.8bn), on volumes up 4.4%.
“We will continue to deliver on our ‘smart growth’ strategy,” said Barry Callebaut CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique, adding that a more supportive cocoa products market and improving global demand for chocolate had enabled the business to extend its mid-term guidance for 2018/19 to 4-6% volume growth.
In September, Barry Callebaut launched ruby chocolate, claiming it was the fourth type after dark, milk and white.
“The fourth type in chocolate offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness,” said the business at the time.