With annual sales of roughly CHF 6.9bn (€6.0bn / $7.1bn) last year, the Zurich-based Barry Callebaut Group (BCG) is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and its latest nine-month key sales figures, for fiscal year 2018-19, shows that its good growth momentum continues.
In the first nine months BCG grew its overall sales volume by +5% (+10.6% in Q3) to 1,589,181 tons. Sales volume in the chocolate business grew by +5.9%, well above the underlying global chocolate confectionery market, which was up +0.9% according to market analysts. Its global cocoa volumes increased +2.2% and sales revenue in the period under review amounted to CHF 5.5bn ($507bn), an increase of +8.2% in local currencies (+5.7% in CHF). The increase in sales revenue was impacted by higher raw material prices and the first-time adoption of IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) 153.
“As anticipated we accelerated our volume growth in the third quarter. All Regions contributed to the good sales momentum, and our volume growth was again significantly above the global chocolate confectionery market,” said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group.
Earlier this year BCG inaugurated a state-of-the-art processing unit at its Société Africaine de Cacao (SACO) plant in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. It includes a fourth grinding line and will increase SACO’s cocoa bean processing capacity by over +40.0% by 2022. The group also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Serbia to construct the Group’s first chocolate factory in Southeastern Europe. The factory will serve as a regional hub from where it will supply the rapidly growing chocolate markets of Southeastern Europe.
In May, Ruby was officially introduced in the United States at the National Confectioners Association’s Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago. Ruby was also introduced in Canada, as a part of its global launch plan and is now available in more than 50 countries worldwide.
In February, BCG successfully placed a €600m ($676m) equivalent Schuldscheindarlehen at attractive average rates of 1.65% and an average tenor of 7.8 years. Given the success of its debut in the Schuldscheindarlehen market, the Group will repay its outstanding 5.375% Senior Note, due 2021, in the amount of €250m in the beginning of August 2019.
BCG says it has established traceability for a third of its global cocoa volume, in its effort to reach its Forever Chocolate commitment to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025. To achieve, it says it has prioritized the establishment of traceability in its Ghanaian and Ivorian supply chains. By the end of 2019, BCG says it is confident it will have mapped all the farms it directly sources from in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the world’s two largest cocoa producing countries. Overall, this means that 100% of the cocoa volume BCG sources in Ghana and 40% of the cocoa volume it sources in Côte d’Ivoire will be traceable by 2019.
“We are confident we will deliver on our current mid-term guidance. Going forward, we remain committed to achieving consistent above-market volume growth and enhanced profitability. This is why, in January, we renewed our mid-term guidance for the coming three fiscal years,” de Saint-Affrique concluded.
- Full press statement: Barry Callebaut Group – 9-Month Key Sales Figures, Fiscal Year 2018/19