News briefs: ADM, Hershey and Sweet China

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chocolate

In recent confectionery news, ADM reshuffles its management team,
Hershey launches a new premium line to try and boost its US market
share, and Sweet China reports a quarterly profit loss.

ADM cocoa appoints new executives ​ADM cocoa today announced it has made a number of management changes, as part of its drive to expand into further geographical regions. Scott Walker, the new managing director of ADM Cocoa International, told ConfectioneryNews.com that the appointments had been made as part of plans "to expand geographically into areas where we can source diverse bean types per the request of our customers and areas where our customers are growing",​ although he did not specify which areas the company is targeting. He also said that there was no financial motive behind the re-organisation. Walker will oversee ADM's cocoa business in Europe, Asia and Africa, reporting directly to the president. Other new appointments include John McGowan as commercial director of this division, while in the UK Ian Povey and Matijs Brand have been hired as managing director and commercial director respectively. Hershey launches new Bliss range ​US chocolate company Hershey this week launched a new range of chocolate products as part of its strategy to boost market share in the country. The new chocolates are bite-sized truffles aimed at targeting the trend for luxury and indulgent confectionery treats. "The slight domed shape of the individual square fits the mouth perfectly allowing the chocolate to melt evenly cascading rich, creamy chocolate notes across the tongue,"​ the company said. "The finish is satisfying and sophisticated, a lasting reward." ​The chocolates are available in milk chocolate, dark chocolate and milk chocolate 'meltaway' flavours, the company said. Hershey first pledged to release more products onto the US market after profits for the 2007 financial year fell dramatically. In October, the company said margins dropped from 22.7 per cent in 2006 to 9.2 per cent the next year, while operating profit went down to $129m from $322m. Chief executive officer Richard Lenny said at the time that the company hoped expand its range of premium and dark chocolate products, such as the Cacao Reserve, Scharffen Berger and Starbucks bars, as well as the new Bliss range. SweetChinareports pretax loss ​Confectionery company Sweet China recorded a pretax loss of £150,000 for the six months ended 31 October 2007, Thompson Financial reported yesterday. According to the news service, the company said that results for the period only include administrative costs, as it was preparing to acquire Essential Box Confectionery and so was without a trading partner. Sweet China suffered from failing business agreements to acquire Essential Box Confectionery, a move first proposed in 2005. The company had to leave the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) after the first deal fell through. However, the company said earlier this month that it is now in a position to complete the £6m deal, and hopes to start selling Essential Box Confectionery brands in mainland China. Sweet China's full year results for the tax year will be released at the end of this month, the company said.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Hershey, Emerging Markets

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