The company, which specialises in the production and commercialisation of cocoa and chocolate products, acquired Belgian-based chocolate company All Crump last October for €45m.
Under the deal, it took on board All Crump’s private label products as well as the chocolate spread brands Palinutta, Patillia and Crumpy.
With the extended portfolio, Natra achieved sales growth of 48 per cent for its cocoa and chocolate division in its half year results, contributing to overall sales of €226.1m. This amounted to overall sales growth of 23 per cent compared to the same point last year.
The company achieved net profit growth of €2m, jumping from €3m to €5m, representing an increase of 68 per cent compared to last year.
Natra also acquired the Italian brand Nutkao in November, making it the second largest chocolate spread manufacturer in Europe after Ferraro, makers of the universally popular Nutella. Natra intends to incorporate this company before the end of the year.
Plans for further expansion
Natra claims to be currently present in 24 top European retailers and said almost 90 per cent of its sales for the final consumer took place outside Spain in 2007.
The company said it is focusing on expanding its activities to reach emerging markets as it continues its growth strategy.
It said it has established new clients in Asia, an area which offers more and more growth opportunities in line with economic expansion there. It will now begin activities in the region with a commercial office in Shanghai aimed at supplying products to local consumers.
Additionally, the company has been experiencing increased demand from retailers for products containing its brands in the US. Consequently, Natra has opened an office in California to allow it to reinforce the coverage it already provides to its clients there.
The company also said: “For the first time, Natra has started commercial relations with its subsidiary company Natraceutical, which will supply the parent company with functional ingredients with a high content in polyphenols (antioxidants).
“This is a step forward towards technological innovation within cocoa and chocolate, which will enable Natra to add these ingredients to its products for the chocolate industry and for final consumers.”
Natra produces 45,000 tonnes of cocoa and chocolate products each year, and recorded profits of €380m in 2007. Every year the company sells nearly 500m chocolate products in Europe; 400m flavoured chocolate products, 80m chocolate bars and 18m boxes of chocolates.