Lindt + Sprüngli: announces Covid-19 update

Kilchberg / CH. (ls) Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, Lindt + Sprüngli Group has taken all the necessary measures to protect the health of its employees, consumers, business partners and suppliers. The company is closely monitoring the situation and the guidance from local authorities in all countries.

Covid-19 impacts and outlook adjustments

Lindt + Sprüngli has started the current year very strongly, gaining market share in all strategically important markets. However, since the beginning of March, the global health and economic crisis resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, together with the severe restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the virus in many major markets, are impacting Lindt + Sprüngli’s business. The impacts affect mainly travel retail, the own store network, food service as well as the grocery trade in certain markets. The e-commerce business, home delivery and pick-up services at some stores are yet gaining importance. While the extent and duration of the situation are still uncertain, the Group’s growth and financial outlook 2020 is no longer valid. Lindt + Sprüngli continues to monitor the development of the outbreak.

Mid- to long-term growth targets maintained and dividend confirmed

For the coming years, Lindt + Sprüngli maintains its existing mid- to long-term organic sales growth target of 5-7 percent p.a., combined with a steady improvement in the operating margin of 20-40 basis points p.a. In achieving these targets, Lindt + Sprüngli will continue to grow faster than the markets.

Due to a strong financial year 2019, a solid balance sheet with high equity ratio and high liquidity, the Board of Directors confirms the proposal to the Annual Shareholders Meeting of a dividend including a special anniversary dividend on April 24, 2020 of CHF 1,750 per registered share and CHF 175 per participation certificate.

Lindt + Sprüngli remains strong

Thanks to the solid fundamentals, rooted in a strong business model, stable financials and high employee engagement, Lindt + Sprüngli is confident it can overcome the current economic slowdown and come back strongly. The top priority remains to protect the health and safety of employees, consumers, business partners and suppliers while preserving the strengths of the company and taking decisive action to mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19.