Emerging markets lift Barry Callebaut sales volume

by Jeff Gelski
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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – Double-digit percentage point gains in sales volume in the Americas and Asia-Pacific helped Barry Callebaut to an overall sales volume gain of 8% in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, 2012, the Zurich-based company said Jan. 16. Companywide sales volume of 388,160 tonnes compared with 358,567 tonnes in the previous year’s first quarter.

First-quarter revenue slipped to 1,248.4 million Swiss francs ($1,342 million) from 1,255.8 million Swiss francs. Comparable sales prices for cocoa ingredients were lower at the time when business was contracted, according to the company.

“I am pleased we were able to achieve a strong volume growth in the first three months of our fiscal year, driven by substantial growth in emerging markets, but also supported by a solid development in North America and Western Europe,” said Juergen Steinemann, chief executive officer of Barry Callebaut. “With this and despite the current adverse economic environment in some countries, once again we significantly outperformed the market.”

The Americas achieved sales volume of 104,898 tonnes in the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2012, up from 91,460 tonnes in the previous year’s first quarter. Sales revenue in the Americas increased 6% to 300 million Swiss francs ($322.4 million) from 282.2 million Swiss francs.

In Asia Pacific in the first quarter, sales volume increased to 15,502 tonnes from 13,193 tonnes and sales revenue increased to 60.9 million Swiss francs from 56.4 million Swiss francs. In Europe, sales volume rose 6% to 201,006 tonnes from 189,020 tonnes and sales revenue increased 2% to 624.6 million Swiss francs from 614.8 million Swiss francs.

In Global Sourcing & Cocoa in the first quarter, sales volume rose 3% to 66,754 tonnes from 64,894 tonnes and sales revenue fell 13% to 262.9 million Swiss francs from 302.4 million Swiss francs.

In December 2012 Barry Callebaut said it planned to buy the cocoa ingredients division of Singapore-based Petra Foods Ltd. for total consideration of $950 million on a cash/debt-free basis. The cocoa ingredients division supplies cocoa products in Asia and has global sales volume of 265,000 tonnes.

“The planned acquisition of Petra Foods’ cocoa ingredients division will further support our chocolate growth and strengthen our presence in the fast growing emerging markets,” Mr. Steinemann said.
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