Innovation bucks trend for Lindt

Related tags Middle east Asia Lindt & sprüngli

Last year was not one of the best for sales of chocolate, with
political instability in the Middle East, a weak global economy,
lower tourist numbers in the Far East as a result of SARS and the
hottest European summer in decades all contributing to what should
have been a pretty miserable 12 months for chocolate manufacturers.

But Swiss confectionery group Lindt & Sprüngli​ has shrugged off all these negative factors to post a 7.1 per cent increase in sales for the year to SF1.8 billion - an improvement of 7.8 per cent in local currencies.

How, then, did the company manage not only to meet but also exceed its internal growth target of 5-7 per cent for 2003? According to the Lindt & Sprüngli management, the key is innovation and marketing.

"The development of new, innovative products on the basis of well-founded consumer research and the yearly increase in investment in marketing has proved rewarding,"​ the company said in a statement.

All the group's subsidiary companies contributed to the encouraging growth figures - some even with double-digit rates - with the only exception being Lindt & Sprüngli's domestic business in Switzerland, where the market was particularly badly affected by the extremely hot summer and the drop in tourism.

Lindt has a strong presence in the US market, where it performed particularly well during the year, and this helped offset potential losses elsewhere.

Full figures for 2003 will be published in April, and Lindt & Sprüngli said it expected to see both EBIT and net profits rise by more than sales.

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