In the third quarter, volume growth was up 8.9% compared to the prior year period, accelerating from 7.8% growth in the first half. The company significantly outpaced the global chocolate market as a whole, which grew just 1.9%, according to Nielsen figures.
However, Barry Callebaut has a policy of passing on raw material prices to its customers, and this led to a 1.3% drop in sales revenue in the nine-month period, as it passed on lower costs.
In Europe, which accounts for about half of the company’s sales, volumes were up 5.5% despite the still challenging economic environment, while volumes were up 17.1% in the Americas, and 5.4% in the Asia Pacific region.
CEO of Barry Callebaut Juergen Steinemann said: “We are pleased to have again achieved such strong, broad-based volume growth for the first nine months, especially as the general market environment in Western Europe was still challenging. Key growth drivers were our strategic partnerships, emerging markets and the Gourmet business.”
Catering to specialist bakers, restaurants and confectioners, the Gourmet business accounts for just 10% of the company’s total sales, but is highly profitable.
The company has also completed its $950m acquisition of Singapore-based Petra Foods’ Cocoa Ingredients Division on June 30.
“Now, after the closing of the acquisition, we are focusing on the integration of the cocoa business from Petra Foods, having made all the necessary preparations for this during the past six months,” Steinemann said.