Switzerland chosen as new EU Cadbury base

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, United states, Europe

Global confectionery firm Cadbury has created a new European
headquarters in Switzerland, as part of the company's attempts to
consolidate its operations within the bloc, local news reports have
stated.

The company has orchestrated a raft of organisational changes in recent month, including demerging its US beverage arm from the confectionery division, and moving a high percentage of its UK manufacturing operations to Eastern Europe. According to the Swiss news service 24 heures, the new unit in Rolle will unite workers from across the EU with the exception of the UK and Ireland. It will also be responsible for the Russian and Turkish markets, the agency said. Until now, the group's European business outside the dominant British and Irish markets was dispersed in several countries, as well as being combined under one segment with Africa and the Middle East. Cadbury Europe president Chris Van Steenbergen told the news service that he hoped the unit will bring together a variety of international workers. "I want to build an international team, not a French or English one,"​ he said. "In the end we'll have 25 nationalities here."​ Cadbury confirmed the opening of the new site but could not provide more information in time for publication. Last November, Cadbury announced that the primary goal of restructuring the company is increasing margins into the mid-teens by 2011. As well as the demerger of the beverage business, the company said it plans to focus on 12 key confectionery markets, including the UK, the US, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, India, Russia and Turkey, which make up about 70 per cent of total revenues. The company also identified 13 focus brands: Cadbury Dairy Milk, Trident, Halls, Dentyne, Flake, Green & Black's and the Natural Confectionery Company. Although Cadbury said earlier this year that its development plans are "on track",​ the company reported a 2.1 per cent drop in operating profit for the year ending 31 December 2007. Total net sales for the period rose 6.6 per cent to £7.97bn, but like many other food businesses the company faced a weak US dollar as well as high raw material costs for ingredients such as cocoa and milk. "Although the economic outlook for 2008 remains uncertain, we are encouraged by the good trading momentum we have seen in the new year and our continued progress on cost reduction initiatives,"​ said chief executive officer Todd Stitzer at the time.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Mondeléz International

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