Chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut has reported booming volume sales in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
The company said EMEA volumes rose 9.6% to 471,120 tonnes, outperforming a 2.8% increase in the overall market in the six months to 28 February 2018.
Callebaut added that growth had been fuelled by long-term outsourcing agreements, premium products and emerging markets in the region, alongside the acquisition of the D’Orsogna Dolciaria business in Italy last October.
Overall, sales revenue rose 7.3% in Swiss Francs (CHF) to CHF1,577.8m (£1,1158m). EMEA operating profit rose 19.8%.
Across the whole business, sales volume rose 8%, ahead of a 2.5% increase in the market.
However, revenue rose just 0.3% to CHF3,549.9m (£2,605m), which the company said was mainly due to lower prices for cocoa and other raw materials. Operating profit rose 16.1% to CHF276.8m (£203m).
“We had a very strong performance in the first six months of the current fiscal year, which was supported by all product groups and regions, as well as our key growth drivers,” said Barry Callebaut Group CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique.
“This resulted in the continued improvement of our profitability, driven by a favourable mix, operational leverage and a more supportive market.”
Callebaut is the developer of ruby chocolate, with Nestlé rolling out a new Kit Kat variant featuring the chocolate next week.