Its net sales climbed to €102.7m ($115.4m) in H1, while earnings (EBITA) was €3.1m ($3.5m).
The company told ConfectioneryNews it still has money left over from a €60m ($67m) corporate bond issued last year to explore further acquisitions in Europe.
Stephan Milde, CFO of Katjes International said H1 growth was partly driven by Dutch licorice subsidiary Festivaldi and its Harlekijntjes brand.
Katjes International acquired the remaining 50% stake in Festivaldi in January using part of the €60m bond.
“We have remaining funds and we intend to do further acquisitions,” said Milde.
Spain & Italy expansion
Katjes International is currently present in France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
But it is exploring expansion opportunities in Spain and Italy, owner Tobias Bachmüller said in a Q&A published in German on Katjes International website.
“We will continue in the future our focus on the sugar confectionery market in Western Europe,” he said, adding the firm benefitted from the security of the common market and common currency in the EU.
Lutti and Piasten
Katjes International’s French sugar confectionery business Lutti also contributed to H1 growth, spurred by a new TV advert, said Milde.
“They have a focus on sour jellies and that’s a category that’s doing very well,” he said.
“In Germany it’s a stable market in sugar confectionery, but some segments are growing such as Piasten and sugar-coated products,” continued the CFO.
Katjes International acquired German brand Piasten in 2014. The subsidiary specializes in sugar coated candies.
Katjes International reaffirmed its full year net sales guidance of between €220m-230m ($247m-259m), which represents 5-10% year-on-year growth.
“In our industry there’s a bit of seasonality and this typically shows that the first half is weaker than the second half of the year,” said Milde, adding this was due in part to Christmas sales.