Wrigley continues to grow strongly within Europe

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wrigley United states dollar Marketing Gum

Sales for the second quarter rose 14 per cent on last year for
Wrigley due to worldwide shipment growth, the company said

Sales for the second quarter were $1.38bn compared to $1.2bn the same quarter last year, with growth in all regions, Wrigley said.

"Our focused investments in key geographies, in terms of product innovation and brand support, are producing excellent results," said Wrigley's president Bill Perez.

"All major regions contributed to our growth in the quarter, particularly Europe and Asia ."

Sales in Europe increased by 23 per cent to $667m for the second quarter, half of which was due to volume growth of 12 per cent and currency translation, the company said.

Wrigley reported double-digit sales gain within Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as Poland and Spain, mainly due to the Orbit brand.

Sales growth in Germany was due to Extra, the company said.

In January this year, Wrigley increased its presence in the European chocolate sector with the $300m (€232.5m) acquisition of 80 per cent of Russian premium chocolate maker A. Korkunov.

Sales increased 16 per cent in Asia, with sales of the Doublemint, Extra and TaTa brands driving this growth.

During this period, Extra became the number 2 brand of chewing gum in China after Doublemint, the company claimed.

In the US, sales were up three per cent to $425m, however Wrigley noted lower sales of Extra and Altoids.

This decline was offset by strong sales growth in Orbit and Eclipse, the company said.

Operating profit was up 19 per cent to $263m for the quarter, which Wrigley said was driven by higher shipment volumes as well as the weaker US dollar.

Over the first six months the company said operating profit climbed by 20 per cent due to these same reasons, the company said.

"Our strong first half performance and our ongoing focus on operational efficiency puts us in an excellent position to make the necessary investments in second half product and marketing initiatives to keep our business growing, while still achieving full-year results within our long-term earnings growth objective of 9 - 11 per cent," Perez said in the report.

The future product and marketing plans follows Wrigley's recent restructuring of its supply chain, saving the company $20m (€14.5m) during 2007, and its wishes to further push its presence within Europe.

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