The group today reported a 15.1% drop in net profits for the fourth quarter and an 8.3% drop for the full-year.
Italian job cuts
Net sales were up for the fourth quarter and full-year, but the company posted declines in the UK, Germany and Italy.
Cloetta president and CEO Bengt Baron said: “The decline in sales and weak market development in Italy make it necessary to adapt the organization. Cloetta therefore intends to decrease the Italian organization by approximately 30 employees.“
Cloetta previously said Italian trade was suffering from a tough macroeconomic environment and a reduction in payment terms from over 100 days to 60 days.
Italy is among Cloetta’s five main markets along with Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
Sales growth from acquisitions
Cloetta’s net profit fell 15.1% in Q4 to SEK 158m ($18.8m), but net sales for the quarter were up 9.6% to SEK 1.58bn ($188m) with 4.8% of growth coming from acquisitions.
The company reported strong sales from Nutisal, acquired in December 2013 and from the Jelly Bean Factory, acquired in May 2014.
During Q4, Cloetta introduced a novel pick-and-mix concept at Coop Sweden that combines candy and natural snacks. It expects the concept to boost sales by SEK 200m ($23.7m) in 2015. Pick-and-mix currently accounts for 30% of the firm’s sales in Sweden.