Barry Callebaut: announces Q1/2015 key figures

Zurich / CH. (bc) Swiss Barry Callebaut Group, the world´s leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, grew its sales volume by 0.2 percent to 465’046 tonnes during the first three months of fiscal year 2014/2015 (ended on November 30, 2014). Top-line growth was driven by key region Western Europe, the Gourmet + Specialties Products business (plus 3.8 percent) as well as Region Asia Pacific (plus 9.3 percent). The positive growth was achieved in an overall challenging market environment: In the period under review, the global chocolate confectionery market continued to slow down and volumes decreased by 1.8 percent. The ongoing focus on better customer segmentation and product mix improvement paid off with a sustained good overall margin development for chocolate products. Sales revenue increased by 15.1 percent to 1’743.6 million, driven by higher cocoa bean prices combined with a more favourable product mix. CEO Juergen Steinemann: «As anticipated, we saw a slow start in our new fiscal year, yet we grew well above the market. I am satisfied that our largest region, Western Europe, resumed growth, capitalizing on last year´s capacity investments. We continue to focus on margin improvements. We have completed the integration of the acquired cocoa business and are now working on strengthening our position as the global leader in cocoa processing and origination enhancing our integrated service and product offering to our customers».