Barry Callebaut's volume inches up 0.2% in tough market

by Jeff Gelski
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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Barry Callebaut’s sales volume grew 0.2% in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, 2014, which still marked a better performance than the overall global confectionery market, the Zurich-based company said when giving results Jan. 21.

Volume of 465,046 tonnes was up from 463,996 tonnes in the previous year’s first quarter. Volume in the global confectionery market fell 1.8% in the September-November time period, according to Nielsen. Barry Callebaut’s sales revenue in the quarter was 1,743.6 million Swiss francs ($2,035.8 million), a 15.1% increase from 1,515.3 million Swiss francs in the previous year’s first quarter.

Volume in Barry Callebaut’s Region Americas grew 0.2% to 115,930 tonnes. The confectionery market increased retail prices in the region because of higher cocoa bean prices, a move that had a temporary negative impact on consumption, according to Barry Callebaut. Sales revenue in North America grew 22% in the first quarter to 387.5 million Swiss francs ($452.4 million) from 317.6 million Swiss francs.

In Region Europe in the first quarter, volume increased 0.8% to 205,660 tonnes and sales revenue grew 9.5% to 762.8 million Swiss francs. In Region Asia Pacific in the first quarter, volume increased 9.3% to 18,195 tonnes and sales revenue increased 20.7% to 75.7 million Swiss francs. In Global Cocoa in the first quarter, sales volume fell 1.8% to 125,261 tonnes and sales revenue grew 18.1% to 517.6 million Swiss francs.

“As anticipated, we saw a slow start in our new fiscal year, yet we grew well above the market,” said Juergen Steinemann, chief executive officer of the Barry Callebaut Group. “I am satisfied that our largest region, Western Europe, resumed growth, capitalizing on last year’s capacity investments.”
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