The UK-based confectionery giant has also reconfirmed its growth targets for the current financial year which it set in July, saying that in the year to date it has “performed in line with expectations.”
Cadbury’s chief executive Todd Stitzer said: “Looking forward, despite forecasting a 6-8 per cent rise in input costs for 2009 and weakening economic conditions, we remain committed to delivering mid-teen margins by 2011 and making further progress towards that goal in 2009.”
The company said that its Britain, Ireland, the Middle East and Africa division had continued to ‘grow well’ and that its European sector had ‘sustained a steady performance’.
Meanwhile, it blamed retailers reducing stockpiles of chocolate bars and chewing gums in North America for ‘mid-single digit growth’ in the region.
Australian beverage sale
The company also announced today that it would sell its Australian beverage business.
Earlier this year, it had split its confectionery and beverage business in North America, but had chosen to retain its Australian drinks division and review its position at a later date.
“The separation of the integrated beverage and confectionery businesses in Australia is now well advanced and we will update the market on further developments in due course,” it said.
The company added that emerging markets in the Asian Pacific region had helped to offset its weaker trading in Australia.
Cadbury’s share price slipped by as much as 4.1 per cent, to 534p following the update’s release, although it had rallied to 548.5p by close of trade.
Cadbury is due to issue its full year results on February 25, 2009.