Zurich / CH. (bc) In its first quarter of fiscal year 2013/2014 – ended November 30, 2013 – Barry Callebaut AG, the world´s leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, increased its sales volume by 19,5 percent to 463’996 tonnes. Excluding the recently acquired cocoa business, the Group´s volume growth was plus 4,6 percent for the period under review. In comparison, the global chocolate confectionery market expanded by 3,4 percent in volume. Most regions and all Product Groups contributed to the solid growth, driven by emerging markets (plus 19,1 percent stand-alone) as well as the Gourmet and Specialties Products business (plus 9,7 percent stand-alone).
CEO Juergen Steinemann: «We have had a solid start into the new fiscal year. Our three key growth drivers – geographic expansion, outsourcing and partnership agreements, and our Gourmet business – have maintained their momentum, with emerging markets and Gourmet delivering particularly strong growth. The integration of the acquired cocoa business continues to make good progress. As of the beginning of the fiscal year, all integration-related work-streams have been transferred into our operational activities and are on track as planned».
Sales revenue was up 22,4 percent in local currencies (plus 21,4 percent in Swiss Francs) and came in at 1’515,3 million CHF. On a stand-alone basis, sales revenue grew 6,4 percent in local currencies (plus 5,5 percent in CHF) to 1’317,5 million CHF. This reflects the volume increase as well as higher average raw material prices, in particular for cocoa beans, cocoa butter and milk powder.
CEO Juergen Steinemann looking ahead: «We will continue to work along our strategic pillars. We are focusing on the successful integration of the recently acquired cocoa business and on further improving our product margins. I am confident we will reach our mid-term financial targets».