Premium innovation boosts Lindt sales

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Lindt Chocolate Euro United states dollar

Strong sales of premium and dark products have led Lindt &
Spruengli to predict that full year revenue for 2007 will hit
CHF 2.95bn (€1.8bn), a 14 per cent increase from the year before.

The company said that it will experience "increases in market share in all markets and segments", stretching from Europe to Asia via the US.

Over the 2007 tax year, the group said it exploited consumer preference for premium and dark chocolate, and created a range of new products for this segment, including its new Creation 70 bar.

Touted as a 'healthy' indulgence thanks to its high levels of polyphenols and flavanols, the Creation 70 bar comprises a mousse centre encased in a dark chocolate bar-shape shell.

Lindt said it was particularly pleased with growth in the US, currently one of the strongest markets in terms of premium product launches.

"Competitors in the world's biggest chocolate market have released an unprecedented wealth of new products in their efforts to penetrate the expanding premium segment," the company said "Against this backdrop of ever-stiffer competition - which is increasingly being fought out through price - Lindt's clear positioning in the premium segment enabled it to remain distanced from this and at the same time to strengthen its image."

The company even remained positive in light of some of the major problems currently dogging the food industry.

Lindt said that the weakness in the US dollar was off set by the strong euro, and also claimed that the 2007 increases in raw material prices - in this case for cocoa, cocoa butter, milk and nuts - will have no negative impact on the year end result.

Today's trading update comes ahead of complete figures for the tax year 2007, due to be released in March.

The company said that the figures published at that date will represent another year of double digit growth.

In March 2007, Lindt posted full year sales of CHF2.586 bn (€1.6bn) and net income of CHF209 mn (€129.6m) - a 21 per cent increase from 2006.

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