Ferrero has outlined ambitious plans to grow its business in the UK over the next five years.
Speaking at the launch of Ferrero’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report at the Italian embassy in London last month, Ferrero UK MD Pieraldo Oldano said that the strategy highlighted the UK as a priority market for Ferrero.
“We plan to double our share in the UK in five years,” he said.
The company ranks seventh in the overall UK confectionery market behind Mondelez International, Mars, Nestlé, Thorntons, Haribo and Lindt respectively, according to data from Euromonitor International.
However it is the sixth largest UK chocolate firm based on retail value sales.
Euromonitor forecasts that the $8.2bn UK confectionery sector will grow retail value sales at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.4% between 2013 and 2017, driven primarily by chocolate, with the gum category expected to grow faster than sugar confectionery.
Financials in 2012
Ferrero UK posted sales of £184.6m ($304m) in 2012, up 9.2% on the previous year – meaning the business accounted for 2.4% of Ferrero’s sales globally in 2012.
Ferrero UK’s gross profit margin was virtually unchanged on the previous year at 35.1%.
It recorded a net loss of £5.5m ($9m) in during the year. We asked for an interview with Pieraldo Oldano, but our request went unanswered.
Ferrero in the UK
Ferrero entered the UK market in 1966 and now employs 140 staff in the UK, mainly from its UK headquarters in Watford.
The company has no production facilities in the UK, but produces Tic Tacs from a facility in Cork, Ireland, which employs 125 people.
Pieraldo Oldano was appointed UK MD for Ferrero in January 2012.
Resisting offers from Nestlé
The family-owned Italian company, incorporated in Luxembourg, resisted alleged offers from Nestlé to acquire the firm in October.
Oldano said at the CSR conference that Ferrero was proud to be in private hands and would not entertain offers from the Swiss giant or any other company.