Barry Callebaut posts gains in contracting chocolate market

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Switzerland, Chocolate, Eastern europe, Barry callebaut

Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has reported increased profits and sales volumes for the six months to the end of February 2010, despite a declining global chocolate market.

The company, which provides the food manufacturing industry with cocoa and chocolate products, coatings and cocoa powders, recorded a sales volume increase of 7.8 per cent and a net profit of CHF 145.7m (€102.5m) but noted that, said volume pick-up in growth markets was offset by high cocoa prices and unfavourable currency effects.

And the Swiss based chocolate supplier said that the chocolate market was declining until the end of 2009 and only started to pick up as of early 2010.

The supplier of chocolate for manufacturers such as Nestlé said it was still aiming for average volume growth of 6 to 8 per cent over the next three years as it forecast that the global chocolate market will see slow recovery in the second half of the fiscal year and the combined cocoa ratio would also improve.

The combined cocoa ratio is the total sales price for cocoa butter and cocoa powder relative to the cocoa bean price.

“For the 3-year period 2009/10 through 2011/12 we are confident that we will be able to achieve our average three-year financial targets and continue to significantly outperform the global chocolate market,” ​said CEO Juergen Steinemann.

The regions in which it had invested most in the past three years – Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Eastern Europe – showed the strongest growth rates (24.4 per cent, 13.1 per cent and 11.5 per cent, respectively), added Barry Callebaut.

The company said while Western Europe showed signs of a recovery of chocolate consumption in volume terms some traditional chocolate markets such as France and Switzerland did not perform as well as other regions.

Turkey, it added, recorded very strong growth but Eastern Europe as a whole is still affected by the economic crisis in Russia Western Europe showed signs of a recovery of chocolate consumption (in volume terms) but some traditional chocolate markets such as France and Switzerland were still negative.

While Turkey recorded very strong growth, Eastern Europe as a whole is still affected by the profound economic crisis in Russia. “In this mixed market environment, Barry Callebaut’s Region Europe increased its sales volume overall by a very satisfactory 4.6 per cent to 392,426 tonnes,”​ stated the supplier.

The Swiss company said sales volume grew by 13.1 per cent to 136,833 tonnes in its Americas region, and explained that this was partially informed by strong sales of premium end products, especially to the bakery and large confectionery segments.

It added that the main reasons for the strong growth rates in Asia-Pacific were strong sales to industrial customers in South Korea, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand with growth rates above 30 per cent. In China where the chocolate market was still declining sales volume went up by 15 per cent, with gains in its high margin products noted in all Asian-Pacific regions, added Barry Callebaut.

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