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Lindt seizes on Australian growth with $45m Sydney plant

By Oliver Nieburg+

Last updated on 06-Jul-2016 at 17:08 GMT2016-07-06T17:08:53Z

Lindt CEO Ernest Tanner (left) opened the Sydney site on July 4 with Australian politician Mike Baird (right). Photo: Lindt
Lindt CEO Ernest Tanner (left) opened the Sydney site on July 4 with Australian politician Mike Baird (right). Photo: Lindt

Lindt has opened a factory in Sydney to capitalize on the growth it has enjoyed in the Australian market.

The new-build Marsden Park facility covers 66,000 sq m and will employ 350 staff.

Lindt has invested A$ 60m ($45m) in the site, which includes a warehouse, office and production space

Growth permits expansions

Lindt established an Australian subsidiary in 1997. Last year, the business unit reported 19.1% sales growth driven by key brands Lindor and Excellence.

Ernst Tanner, Lindt Group CEO, who attended the factory’s inauguration ceremony, said: “Never did we anticipate the reception that Lindt chocolates would receive in Australia when we first entered the market here.

"I am delighted that the growth of our business in Australia has allowed us to not only expand our operations but to provide people in Sydney’s West with employment opportunities with Lindt.”

The Sydney factory is currently producing a new range of Lindt Easter eggs for 2017 using chocolate imported from Switzerland. The eggs will complement Lindt’s Gold Bunny brand.

“The fact that we are spinning a new product specifically for the Australian public is a reflection on the many successes we have had here,” said Tanner.

Lindt in Australia

In its annual report, Lindt claimed it was the fastest growing chocolate brand last year in Australia and grew market share in all its categories.

The company has 18 retail stores in the country.

Australia is part of Lindt's Rest of the World segment. Source: Lindt Financial Analysts' Conference 2016

Lindt told this site in 2014 , the new factory will primarily serve Lindt’s retail stores, but some wholesale brands such as Lindor Balls would be packaged at the Sydney site using chocolate imported from European factories.

The bulk of Lindt’s wholesale products are imported from its factories in Switzerland, Germany and the US.

Australia falls within Lindt’s Rest of the World division along with other markets such as Japan and Russia. ROW made up just 7% of the firm’s sales in 2015, which were concentrated in North America (43.1%).

Cadbury maker Mondelēz was the market leading chocolate confectioner in Australia with a 39% share in 2015, according to Euromonitor International, but dropped 1% share on the prior year, partly due to competition in tablets from Lindt.

Euromonitor predicts the Australian chocolate market will record a volume compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1% up to 2020, down from +4% over 2010-2015. It comes as consumers embrace portion control and the Australian dollar weakens, it says.

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