The company said the chocolate industry has been hit hard by the recent health and wellness trend, but its sales volume increase showed that the global cocoa growth continues with good momentum because of “good chocolate demand and excessive cocoa powder sales to third-party customers.”
“This led to an exceptionally strong volume growth of 8%,” said Barry Callebaut during its half-year results conference.
Expansion, innovation and sustainability
Barry Callebaut said it has achieved several strategic milestones in the first six months of fiscal year 2017/18 in three main areas: expansion, innovation and sustainability.
“The integration of the recent acquisitions of D'Orsogna Dolciaria in Italy, in October 2017, and Gertrude Hawk Ingredients in the US, in December 2017, further expanding Barry Callebaut’s value-adding specialties and decorations business, is well on track,” it said.
The chocolate provider also launched a fourth type of chocolate, Ruby, in China last year. The naturally colored product is currently available in Japan and South Korea, and is hitting the UK and US markets soon.
On the sustainability side, Barry Callebaut introduced its first Forever Chocolate pilot in Indonesia to enhance sustainable cocoa production, it added.
However, the company’s spokesperson, Christiaan Prins, told us the Ruby beans are currently not certified as sustainable. “By 2025, all our cocoa will be 100% sustainably sourced, including the Ruby beans,” he said.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut Group, noted the strong performance was supported by “all product groups and regions, as well as our key growth drivers.”
According to the company’s financial results, its gourmet and specialties business grew by 7.1% in sales, while its outsourcing and emerging markets grew 8.1% and 11% in sales respectively.
“This resulted in the continued improvement of our profitability,” added de Saint-Affrique.
However, the group’s sales revenue declined by 1.8% in local currencies (increased by 0.3% in CHF) to CHF 3.55bn ($3.71bn), mainly due to lower cocoa and other raw material prices, said Barry Callebaut.
“We continue to see healthy market dynamics,” said de Saint-Affrique. “We have good visibility in our portfolio and together with the diligent execution of our ‘smart growth’ strategy, we feel confident to deliver on our four-year guidance – 4% to 6% volume growth from 2015/16 to 2018/19, barring any major unforeseen events.”