Jacobs, who has been company chairman for 11 years, will vacate his post in December.
Current vice chairman Patrick De Maeseneire has been proposed for election as the new chairman.
Chocolate supply deals bolster sales
In results published today, Barry Callebaut announced full-year revenue growth of 8.8% in local currencies to CHF 6.7bn ($6.9bn) and a sales volume increase of 2.2% to 1.83m metric tons (MT).
Barry Callebaut said its ‘Food Manufacturers’ chocolate business - which supplies chocolate to customers such as Mondelēz International - grew sales volumes 7.6% in the full-year.
It came as global chocolate confectionery sales volumes fell 1.7% over the period, according to market analysts Nielsen.
Barry Callebaut’s cocoa business – which supplies butter, powder and other cocoa ingredients - dropped 12% as it phased out less profitable contracts.
Group net profit declined 5.1% in local currencies and 8.7% in CHF to CHF 219m ($225m), which Barry Callebaut attributed to one-off costs and higher tax rates.
The company grew sales volumes 6.6% in its Region EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) to 814,236 MT.
Europe’s chocolate confectionery market declined 1.2% in sales volumes over the period, according to Nielsen.
The European market showed signs of recovery in the last quarter and consumption is picking up, said Barry Callebaut in its annual report published today.
The firm’s Region America’s sales volumes climbed 8.8% driven by a long-term chocolate outsourcing deal with World’s Finest Chocolate.
The chocolate confectionery market in the region declined 3% over the same period, according to Nielsen.
Barry Callebaut also significantly outgrew Asia Pacific’s weak chocolate market (-0.1%) with 10.8% sales volume growth in the region to 76,433 MT.
The firm posted double-digit growth in China, India and Latin America driven by outsourcing contracts with companies such as Arcor and Grupo Bimbo.
Barry Callebaut reaffirmed its three-year outlook of 4-6% volume growth and EBIT growth above volume growth in local currencies.