Barry Callebaut reports sales rise of 11%, operating profit falls 40%

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Barry Callebaut Group CEO Peter Feld. Pic: Barry Callebaut
Barry Callebaut Group CEO Peter Feld. Pic: Barry Callebaut

Related tags Barry callebaut Chocolate Cocoa Sustainability

Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate supplier, reported a sales rise of 11% to 4.6 billion CHF ($5.09bn) compared to last year, but one-off expenses caused by its transformation plan amounted to a lower-than-expected half-year profit.

In its Half-Year Results Fiscal Year 2023-24, the Barry Callebaut Group said that increasing cocoa prices and global inflation drove revenue up by 11% in Swiss francs, against estimates of 5.7%.

As ConfectioneryNews reported​, the Group is increasing prices to its UK ingredient suppliers from 1 May and, in some cases, limiting order quantities as climate change, crop disease, and farm neglect in Western Africa have driven cocoa bean prices to historical highs and caused supply challenges.

We delivered a solid financial performance. With our integrated and diversified business model as well as our strong balance sheet, we remain a reliable partner for our customers -- CEO Peter Feld

Global cocoa

Sales volume for Barry Callebaut Global Cocoa declined by 0.7% due to this year’s significant cocoa price increases. Still, the company reported that it continued to source well in a difficult environment.

In a Media and Analyst Conference, CEO Peter Feld said while being careful, the Group is reiterating 2024 guidance of a flat volume and is “cautiously navigating this unprecedented cocoa pricing and supply situations in a very disruptive external environment.

“We delivered a solid financial performance. With our integrated and diversified business model as well as our strong balance sheet, we remain a reliable partner for our customers.

“We retain some caution given the extraordinary price spikes over the past six months and potential implications for our customers and supply partners.”

Along with supply deficits in the main cocoa-growing countries, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, Feld said the second element that led to price spikes was driven by large industrial players ordering very late. “And that whole situation then got amplified on top by hedge fund activity, so the thing went vertical. “

“We're now in a period of probably eight days where it's pretty flat. So we'll see where it goes. We believe that what goes up fast comes down fast at one point in time and we're preparing for that.”

Feld told industry watchers he was optimistic that the mid-crop would be “at levels as it was the year before. And certainly not as bad as the main crop last fall.”


Barry Callebaut Global Chocolate delivered +1.0% volume growth, ahead of a declining global chocolate confectionery market (-2.0%, according to Nielsen).

Food Manufacturers continued to be impacted by soft consumer demand in the context of the high-inflationary environment. Barry Callebaut said it was able to mitigate these pressures as its diversified business model allowed the Group to capture the consumer shift towards Private Label chocolate offerings.

Its Gourmet & Specialties segment recorded high single-digit volume growth, with continued strong demand across regions, supported by its transformational BC Next Level initiatives.


Western Europe was the largest contributor to Global Chocolate volume growth (+2.2%), as the business captured the consumer shift to Private Label products, and Gourmet saw solid demand.

Central and Eastern Europe (+3.5%) also saw a robust performance, led by a recovery in Food Manufacturers' volume in Türkiye and Southeast Europe and strong momentum for Gourmet.

Volume growth in Latin America accelerated in the second quarter, leading to +6.2% in the first half, led by Gourmet in Brazil.

Sales volume in North America declined (-1.9%) as weaker consumer sentiment impacted Food Manufacturers in the region, while Gourmet saw solid demand.

Regions Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa also saw a decline (-0.6%) due to a challenging consumer and inflationary environment, particularly in Greater China and Indonesia. Outside of these markets, volume growth in the region was high single-digit.

BC Next Level

Barry Callebaut launched its strategic investment programme, BC Next Level, in September 2023 to unlock its full potential for the future.

As part of the programme, the company said it will move closer to customers and markets and simplify and digitalize its business's front and back ends. This plan ultimately positions the Group for sustainable, profitable growth and creates a more attractive financial profile by elevating profitability and improving cash flow.

Early this year, Barry Callebaut also announced 2,500 job cuts​ but said the programme's implementation is progressing as planned and is building a centralized global end-to-end supply chain. A dedicated customer innovation organisation has already launched.

“Our strategic investment programme BC Next Level is the cornerstone of Barry Callebaut’s future success and we are tracking to plan,” said Feld.

“We are making our business more resilient by bringing us even closer to our customers, streamlining operations and accelerating our digital transformation.

“Besides investments in areas that matter most to our customers, we are implementing efficiency measures to streamline our structures and avoid double-work.

“We are currently in discussions with our social partners about implementing key activities, and we are fully committed to supporting all of our employees who may be affected by our plans.”


Feld said the Group continues to invest in sustainability and confirmed Nicolas Mounard's promotion to VP ESG, Sustainability & Traceability.

“We have clearly made a leapfrog in traceability and segregation work that goes far beyond the necessity we have for EUDR, which we will complete by the end of this calendar year.

“But we're also implementing fully certified and verified cocoa and ingredients in all of our products traceable to the farm level by 2030.

“And that work is well underway. Nicolas will be driving that forward as we speak on creating a sustainable data-centric, end-to-end connected value chain from cocoa farms to our customers.”

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