Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut increased sales volume by 11.8% in the year to 31 August 2014, helped by the integration of the cocoa business acquired in June 2013. 

Volume growth accelerated in the fourth quarter and reached +2.9% for the full year compared to +2.3 volume growth of the global confectionery market. All product groups contributed to the volume increase as continued growth was seen in emerging markets.

Sales revenue was up 20.1% as a result of ‘strong volume growth’ and higher than average cocoa bean prices compared to last year. Gross profit grew 18.2%, which the company credits to a ‘significant’ increase in profitability and an improved product mix with more Gourmet and speciality products and better product margins.

Juergen Steinemann, chief executive, said: “The short-term global economic outlook will remain challenging. Therefore, we will focus on tight cost controls. However, based on our proven long-term strategy, the structural investments made over the last few years and the global platforms we have built, we see many opportunities across our three growth drivers – emerging markets, outsourcing and strategic partnerships, and Gourmet.

“We expect to continue to outperform the global chocolate market and will keep focusing on margin improvements. With this, we remain confident in achieving our mid-term targets.”