Barry Callebaut has announced a strong start to the year, reporting a significant rise in chocolate sales above the global market average, outlined in its first quarter key sales figures for fiscal 2019/20 (ended on November 30, 2019).
In a statement, it said sales volume in the chocolate business grew by +7.7%, well above the global chocolate confectionery market, which was flat (-0.0%).
Growth was supported by all regions and key growth drivers: Outsourcing (+2.7%), Emerging Markets (+16.7%) and Gourmet & Specialities (excluding Beverage, +4.4%). Sales volume in Global Cocoa grew +10.2%.
Excluding the first-time contribution from the consolidation of Inforum, a leading Russian B2B producer of chocolate, coatings and fillings, organic volume growth was +6.2%. Sales revenue amounted to CHF2,000.8m ($2.89m), which represents an increase of +8.7% in local currencies (+6.3% in CHF).
CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said: “The strong start to the year, together with a healthy portfolio and the diligent execution of our ‘smart growth’ strategy, give us confidence that we are on track to deliver on our mid-term guidance for the period ending with fiscal year 2021/22.”
The Swiss-based chocolate and cocoa supplier said it had hit several innovative milestones last year, including the introduction of ‘Cacaofruit Experience’, a new Food & Drink category using 'Wholefruit' chocolate. The first ‘Cacaofruit Experience’ products for consumers are already being piloted in California, United States, the company said.
In late 2019, Barry Callebaut was granted a Temporary Marketing Permit (TMP) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), clearing the way to market its Ruby variation as chocolate in the United States.
The Barry Callebaut Gourmet brand has also launched Mona Lisa Ruby chocolate decorations, a convenient way for chefs to ‘add a spark to any creation with the unique Ruby taste and colour’.
In January 2020, Costa Coffee, the UK’s leading coffee shop, launched Ruby hot chocolate. and Unilever launched Magnum Ruby ice cream bars in the United States, Germany and the UK.
As part of the Group’s ongoing efforts to optimise its cost structure, and in the light of the declining Indonesian cocoa crop, Barry Callebaut announced the closure of its cocoa factory in Makassar, Indonesia, in January 2020. The Group’s growth in Region Asia Pacific will be well supported by its other factories in the region, it said.
The Group also published its third Forever Chocolate progress report on December 4, 2019, highlighting its progress towards making sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025. The achievements include that the Group sustainably sourced 47% of its cocoa and 54% of its other ingredients in fiscal year 2018/19. Furthermore, Barry Callebaut reduced its corporate CO2 equivalent (CO2e) footprint from 9.10 million tonnes to 8.49 million tonnes (-6.7%), while achieving a +5.1% increase in sales volume in fiscal year 2018/19.
In addition, Barry Callebaut said it distributed over 1.8 million young cocoa seedlings and almost 750,000 shade trees for replanting in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Change in executive committee
In a separate statement, the Group has also announced a change in its executive committee with Massimo Garavaglia, President EMEA, to leave Barry Callebaut after 16 years service, and Andrew Fleming and Rogier van Sligter appointed as co-presidents EMEA.
de Saint-Affrique said: “We owe a lot to Massimo Garavaglia, whom I will miss as a real entrepreneur, a respected colleague and a trusted sparring partner. Massimo has played a major role at each critical step in the development of Barry Callebaut since the creation of the company until today.
“In particular, as President Americas, he has made a decisive contribution to building our leading position today, and after returning to Europe he has led our business from strength to strength over the last 10 years.”