The Italian confectionery giant said the sales of its finished products increased by 2.2% during the period driven by European markets, such as Germany, Poland, UK and Eastern European countries.
While the company’s sales in Italy and France remained flat, higher increases in net sales were recorded in the US, Canada and Mexico, according to Ferrero.
“The products that contributed the most to the net sales of finished products were mainly Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Surprise, Kinder Joy, Kinder Bueno and Tic Tac,” it said.
Ferrero has actively been pursuing US expansion recently: it completed acquisition of Chicago-based premium chocolate Fannie May Confections Brands from 1-800-Flowers.com for $115m about a year ago. A few months later, it acquired US gummy maker Ferrara Candy Company from L Catterton.
Most recently, the company swallowed Nestlé’s US candy business for $2.8bn, making it one of the largest chocolate makers in the world, ConfectioneryNews previously reported. However, it is still in the processing of positioning Nestlé’s brands within its portfolio.
Investment in factory and technological expansion
Ferrero said it would continue to invest in “improving and expanding its factories and equipment” in line with its corporate strategies.
“Key corporate strategies led to ongoing improvements in the quality and competitiveness of the product portfolio, while [ensuring] product freshness, food safety and the environment,” the company explained.
Additionally, Ferrero invested €774m ($958m) in technological development in fiscal year 2017, compared to €631m ($781m) in the prior year, it noted.
The investment has helped the company expand its production capacity, said Ferrero.
“On the total amount of capital investments, the most significant part was focused on property, plant and equipment ($817m compared to $683m in the previous year) mainly in Italy, Germany, Poland, Canada and Luxembourg,” added the company.
In 2018, Ferrero said it would also invest further in its core brands and strengthen its internal R&D activities.