Lindt reports record premium chocolate sales

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chocolate, Cocoa solids, Lindt

Leading premium chocolate manufacturer Lindt & Sprüngli has
reported record first half results on the back of increased demand
for premium products in an otherwise slow-moving European chocolate
market.

The Swiss company reported a profit for the first time in its first half, which normally lags behind the second half due to the seasonal nature of premium chocolate sales.

But increased efficiency, successful marketing and innovative product development have contributed to pushing up its first half net income to SF4.7m (€3m), compared to a SF1.7m (€1m) loss last year, the company said.

Total sales were up almost 9 per cent to SF847.2m (€545.8m), in a sluggish international chocolate market, which has seen a modest 2-4 per cent growth over the past year.

"The international chocolate market has become saturated, which is why it has been relatively stagnant over the past half year. In contrast, being the only premium chocolate manufacturer with a worldwide distribution network, our company is growing faster than the market as a whole,"​ said a Lindt & Sprüngli spokesperson.

"Part of our responsibility as the premium market leader is to understand the tastes, habits, behaviour and expectations of consumers in different countries, and to be able to adapt our production to suit the specific demand,"​ the company told ConfectioneryNews.com.

Lindt & Sprüngli​, which is best known for its Easter Gold Bunny product, had its half-year sales boosted by increased demand for attractively packaged gift products and top-quality speciality products, such as its rich dark chocolates "Pralinés Noirs Intenses."

The company also benefited from good sales of its Valentine special, "Lindor Balls", in the UK, Canada and the US. Other products that have enjoyed success include Ghirardelli's "Squares", and a variety of praline chocolates such as "Nouvelle Confiserie", "Petits Deserts" and "Mini Pralinés."

Sales in the US were particularly strong, after the opening of the company's own brand shops increased consumer awareness.

"The combination of our Lindt boutiques and wholesale trading has resulted in our brand becoming more and more anchored in the US market,"​ said the company.

The company also invested in new production lines resulting in increased efficiency, which offset higher costs for raw materials such as cocoa butter, hazelnuts and almonds.

The only subsidiary to report less successful sales was Italian traditional chocolate manufacturer Caffarel, acquired by Lindt & Sprüngli in 1997. The decline in sales resulted from a narrowing down of the brand's wide product range to a more selective range, which the company described as "an efficiency investment for the future."​In its outlook for the second half, Lindt said its sales could be impacted by a "possible slowdown"​ in some markets, though the company still expects to achieve its growth objective of 5-7 per cent for the year.

Related topics: Markets, Chocolate, Premium

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