Higher raw material costs boost Barry Callebaut sales

Volumes at chocolate supplier Barry Callebaut Group have risen 5.9% year-on-year – ahead of a 1.8% increase across the global chocolate confectionery market.

Full-year sales revenue rose 7.8% in local currencies, and 5.2% in Swiss Francs, to CHF7.3bn (£5.7bn), driven by factors including passing on higher raw material costs to customers.

Gross profit rose 2.1% to CHF1.2bn (£929m), with the company reporting the positive effect from volume growth and product mix had been offset by costs for structural improvements of operations. Operating profit increased 8.5% in Swiss Francs.

The business, which last year acquired a chocolate manufacturing facility from Burton’s Biscuit Co, said volumes in its EMEA region increased 6.1%, with “healthy” growth from food manufacturers.

Sales revenue in EMEA increased 0.5% to CHF3.1bn (£2.4bn), with operating profit up 2.1%.

Barry Callebaut Group CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said he was “delighted to announce another set of strong results”, and that the business was committed to pursuing its ‘smart growth’ strategy.

“Good growth momentum, a strong innovation portfolio and discipline in execution make us confident of delivering 4-6% volume growth and EBIT above volume growth in local currencies on average for the three-year period 2019/20 to 2021/22, barring any major unforeseen events.”

Recent innovations have included the launch of a chocolate made using 100% pure cacaofruit.

In May this year, ruby chocolate was officially introduced in the US and Canada. Ruby is now available in more than 50 countries worldwide.

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