Turkey’s leading confectionery firm Ülker has reported improved sales due to an uplift in chocolate.
The company, owned by Yildiz Holdings, recorded a 16.1% improvement in first half sales in 2013 compared to the same period last year to TL 1.3bn ($671m)
It had aimed to grow in its three operating areas, chocolate, biscuits and cake, faster than the overall market and delivered on its promise.
While the overall biscuit market grew 7.9% in the first half of 2013; Chocolate 10.3% and cakes 8%, Ulker grew in double digits in all categories.
It was most successful in chocolate, where sales grew 22.4% to TL 645m ($332.9m).
However, the firm’s net profit was down 3.9% to TL 111 million ($573m) mainly due to foreign currency loses and the strength of the Turkish Lira against the US dollar.
The firm also made some advance purchases of raw materials in H, such as pistachios and sugar to benefit from favorable market prices.
Intense market competition
Market competition has also heightened. Mondelez has entered the Turkish biscuit market, while rival ETi has made new launches in cakes. Sanset Gida also recently acquired Italian chocolate company Pernigotti and Ferrero will have a new plant up and running later this year.
Ülker is planning new products for the second half of 2013, focusing on the health segment in biscuits and bitesized in cakes.
Yildiz Holdings announced earlier this month that it would sell 10% of shares its shares in Ülker to improve the market liquidity of the company. We have asked the firm for further details.
Ülker has revised its full-year forecast to TL 2.6bn ($1.3bn) in net sales and a 11-11.5% EBITDA margin.
It previously expected between IL 2.5 to 2.7bn ($1.3-1.4bn) in net sales and 10 to 11% for EBITA margins.