The company today released its semi-annual report (Jan-June 2016) where it registered net income (EBIT) of CHF 90.6m ($92.9m), up 17.5% compared to the same period last year.
Lindt posted its first half (H1) sales last month and reported +17.4% sales growth to CHF 1.4bn ($1.5bn), including contributions from Russell Stover, acquired in July last year.
Growth while competitors experience setbacks
Analysts said Lindt’s sales performance was ‘phenomenal’ in a very depressed chocolate market.
The global chocolate category grew 4.9% this year up to June 2015, according to Nielsen, but major players suffered setbacks due to high commodity costs and slowing economies in emerging markets.
Lindt recently introduced Hello Bites in standup pouches to join the burgeoning bite-sized confectionery category. However, the flavors were deemed "too conservative" for one analyst at Mintel.
Nestlé last week said its confectionery sales declined $300m in H1. Mondelēz International saw net revenues decrease by 9.2% to $7.7 billion in the second quarter (Q2) 2015 and Hershey reported a Q2 net loss of almost $100m for the second quarter of 2015 mainly due to China’s slowing economic growth.
By comparison Lindt grew its sales in its largest region NAFTA region (U.S., Mexico and Canada) by 69.2% to CHF 544.9m ($557.2m) driven by its recent acquisition of Russell Stover.
Increasing cocoa prices
This came despite increasing cocoa costs. The International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) monthly average of daily prices for June 2015 stood at $3239 per metric ton, up 2% from June 2014.
Lindt said in a statement: “Record-high prices for cocoa beans, hazelnuts and almonds, as well as the persistently strong Swiss franc, are creating challenges for Lindt & Sprüngli also. Given the particular nature of these challenges, the company’s long-standing and successful business model is paying off well.”
The firm added its clear market positioning in the premium chocolate segment had helped it grow.