Developed market pickup helps Lindt profits soar 40% in H1
Sales for the first half of the year (H1) were up 9.6% to CHF 1.32bn ($1.43bn), while net income was CHF 48.8 million ($53m), up 40.2% on the same period last year.
The company profited from a slightly improved global economy which had a positive effect on consumer spending on chocolate.
Big growth in N America
It made big gains in North America with 12.7% organic sales growth.
“Both Lindt USA and Lindt Canada together with Ghirardelli added to this very impressive development,” said Lindt in its semi-annual report published today.
US Growth was led by the Lindor and Excellence brands as well as Ghirardelli Squares.
“The main European markets Germany, France, and UK, as well as Switzerland, also performed very well. In the declining Italian overall market, Lindt was able to maintain its previous year’s sales figures, so gaining market shares,” said the company.
The firm registered 5.8% organic sales growth in Europe spurred by the strengthening of the euro and “cool, chocolate-friendly spring weather”.
According to Lindt, cocoa bean prices were fairly stable throughout the first half of the year, but cocoa butter, milk and nut prices all increased.
The company also benefited from seasonal events falling in H1 such as Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day, and Easter.
Launches and expansion
The firm’s recently launched “HELLO – Nice to sweet you!” line has got off to a strong start, according to Lindt, and will be rolled out globally in the next 15 months.
Recently opened subsidiaries in Russia, China and South Africa are helping to progress the company’s expansion.
Lindt reaffirmed its annual forecast for 2013 of organic sales growth of 6 to 8% and an operating margin at the upper end of the target range of 20 to 40 basis points.
The company is making major investments to expand capacity at all of its main production sites. See HERE for more details.