Halloren boast sales increases of 25 per cent Germany's oldest chocolate firm said yesterday that third quarter sales had increased 25 per cent, thanks to expanded manufacturing capacity and new product ranges. In a letter to shareholders, chief executive officer Klaus Lelle said that group turnover increased 42.7 per cent for the quarter ending 30 September, to €7.8m from €5.47m. Overall performance, which includes profit from tickets to the Halloren museum as well as net sales, went up 36.5 per cent to €8.03m. Despite fluctuating commodity costs, Lelle said that profits increased during the quarter thanks to the expansion of manufacturing capacities from 400 tonnes to 1,500 tonnes annually. Orders have also shot up for the company's Christmas ranges, such as nougat, marzipan and truffle stars, he added. Honey prices set to soar Toast and porridge lovers may have to choose alternative toppings at breakfast, as a global shortage of honey may push UK prices up by as much as 25 per cent, according to the Telegraph newspaper. Bad weather conditions in Argentina, the chief exporter of honey to the UK, have prevented the flowers needed for pollen from blooming, the newspaper said. Industry experts predict that a 100g pot of honey will now cost consumers as much as £2.24, up from current prices or about £1.79. According to market analysts Mintel, honey is now the second most popular sweet spread in the UK, and sales rose 14 per cent between 2004 and 2006. According to the report, jam accounted for 35 per cent of the sweet spreads market of £89m in 2006, while honey took 26 per cent with sales at £67m. The spread has grown in popularity thanks to the industry successfully marketing it as being a natural, and therefore healthier, product. Nireus sells confectionery unit Greece-based Nireus, one of the largest food companies in the country, this week announced the sale of its confectionery unit in order to concentrate on fish farming activities. The company will sell the division, that makes 'Sarantis' confectionery products such as fruits in syrup, to subsidiary Marant for €7.6m. The transaction is subject to approval by the relevant authorities and should be finalized by the end of the year, the company said. According to the Financial Times, fish farming companies are currently struggling in the market, as fish consumption is down but demand for variety is up. Several companies, including Nireus, are currently engaged in consolidation activity, the FT said.