Zurich / CH. (bc) Swiss Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, reported sales volume of 580,876 tonnes during the first three months of the fiscal year 2023/2024, ended on November 30, 2023. Volume was slightly up +0.4 percent, ahead of a challenging and overall declining chocolate confectionery market according to Nielsen (-2.7 percent). The chocolate business grew +0.7 percent in the period against a low comparative in Q1 2022/2023, which was still affected by limited product availability due to the Q4 2021/2022 Wieze salmonella incident.
During the quarter, the global volume performance was – as expected – suppressed by the weak growth environment for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, as global corporate account customers managed cost inflation. This was partly mitigated as Barry Callebaut was able to capture the consumer shift towards private label products through its diversified business model. In line with these trends, Food Manufacturers declined -0.8 percent, while Gourmet and Specialties volume grew +9.1 percent against the soft prior year comparator.
In the regions, compared to Q1 2022/2023, Western Europe volumes (WEU) grew +4.7 percent and in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) increased +1.8 percent. In North America (NA), volume declined -4.0 percent and in Latin America (LATAM) volume declined -1.3 percent. In Region Asia Middle East and Africa (AMEA) volume declined -1.5 percent. Sales volume in Global Cocoa declined -1.1 percent.
Sales revenue amounted to CHF 2,241.1 million, an increase of +14.1 percent in local currencies (+6.2 percent in CHF), ahead of volume growth. The increase was driven by the high price increase in cocoa and the inflationary environment, which Barry Callebaut manages through its cost-plus pricing model (which adjusts for higher costs) for the majority of its business.
Chief Executive Peter Feld: «We are focused on delivering on our promise to offer the best chocolate solutions and best in-class services to our customers globally every day. This is key for our future and for our performance in the current challenging market environment. At the same time, we are investing in areas most important for our customers which will make Barry Callebaut stronger and more resilient with our strategic investment program, BC Next Level, which positions the Group for sustainable profitable growth and allows for a more attractive financial profile. The implementation of BC Next Level is well underway with our new operating model announced and new leadership team in place and the majority of the planned measures already initiated.»
For additional information please read the company’s PDF file below (154 KB):20240124-BARRY-CALLEBAUT-Q1-2024.