Cadbury sets out to sweeten UK market sales

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cadbury plc, Chocolate, Cadbury dairy milk, Cadbury schweppes

Confectionery giant Cadbury Schweppes is set to refocus its UK
operations and increase marketing spend over the coming year in a
bid to overcome negative publicity and the split between the
business' beverages and confectionery groups.

As the group's confectionery sector prepares to stand alone, rejuvenating the company's UK operations has become a top priority - according to chief executive Todd Stitzer who spoke at the Cadbury Schweppes' annual general meeting yesterday. Over the past year, Cadbury - who hold the number one or number two spot in almost half of the world's top 50 confectionery markets - has seen 4 per cent like-for-like revenue growth and a 5 per cent rise in chocolate. The firm's organic chocolate subsidiary Green & Blacks performed well with 20 per cent growth. But business in the UK has been hampered by last summer's product recall after salmonella contamination. Cadbury, who own the Crème Egg, Trident and Crunchie brands, is currently facing prosecution by Birmingham Council over inadequate safety procedures relating to the incident and it is expected to continue denting company profits for the coming year. In order to mitigate the downturn and restore brand confidence, Cadbury is turning its attention to the UK market. This year, it plans to introduce subsidiary, the Natural Confectionery Company, to British consumers after the health-conscious, natural ingredients brand flourished in Australia. In addition, the sweet-maker aims to invest further in marketing to push its core Dairy Milk brand as well as innovating with products such as Flake Dark and Cadbury Melts. Stitzer said: "In the UK we are investing in increased marketing behind our Cadbury Dairy Milk brand and in innovation, particularly at the growing premium end of the market." ​As well as looking to the UK market, the company is reported to be examining possible takeover targets to strengthen its confectionery portfolio. ​As yet, the company has declined to comment on rumours of possible acquisitions but is expected to give more details of its separation from the beverages sector in a trading statement next month.

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