Barry Callebaut sales volume jumps 7.1%

by Jeff Gelski
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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Sales volume for chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut rose 7.1% in the six months ended Feb. 28, which compared with 3.6% for the global chocolate market. Barry Callebaut, when giving first-half results April 1, said it expects its good performance to continue in the fiscal year’s second half despite a challenging situation in the Ivory Coast.

Sales volume of 706,570 tonnes in the fiscal year’s first half compared with 659,536 tonnes in the first half of the previous year. Six-month net profit of 158.8 million Swiss francs ($171.5 million) was up 9% when compared with 145.7 million Swiss francs ($157.3 million) in the same time period of the previous fiscal year.

Six-month sales revenue of 2,737.9 million Swiss francs ($2,956.4 million) was up 3.1% when compared with 2,656.5 million Swiss francs ($2,868.3 million) in the same time period of the previous fiscal year.

The chocolate industry in recent months has dealt with a political situation in the Ivory Coast, the top cocoa-growing country.

“In order to avoid supply problems we have put in place a contingency plan and stepped up our sourcing and production activities in other countries,” said Juergen Steinemann, chief executive officer of Zurich-based Barry Callebaut. “We believe we have taken those steps necessary to enable us to honor our customer contracts and meet our commitments during 2011.

“However, our primary concern during this difficult time is the safety and welfare of our employees and everyone living in the Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). We remain committed to the cocoa farming communities and hope for a peaceful resolution of the current situation.”

Within Barry Callebaut’s product groups, six-month volume for Food Manufacturers Products increased 5.9% to 443,559 tonnes while six-month sales volume for Gourmet & Specialties Products increased 5.1% to 74,493 tonnes. Lower volumes in Germany had a negative impact on Consumer Products, where sales volume declined by 5.5% to 60,477 tonnes.

Within Barry Callebaut’s regions, six-month sales volume for Region Americas grew 9.8% to 150,198 tonnes while sales volume in Region Europe increased 2.8% to 401,648 tonnes and sales volume in Region Asia-Pacific increased 9.4% to 26,683 tonnes.

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