ZURICH, SWITZERLAND — Ben De Schryver, currently president of Asia Pacific for the Barry Callebaut Group, has been named chief financial officer, effective Jan. 1, by the company’s board of directors. He will replace Remco Steenbergen, who is leaving to become CFO of the Lufthansa Group, a European airline group.
Barry Callebaut announced the executive appointment on Nov. 11, the same day the Zurich-based cocoa processor and chocolate manufacturer reported sales volume declined by about 2% in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31.
Mr. DeSchryver joined Barry Callebaut in 1999 and has held a variety of sales and senior finance roles. He was named president of Asia Pacific in September 2016 and became a member of Barry Callebaut’s executive committee on Sept. 1, 2017. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from University College in Ghent, Belgium.
Mr. Steenbergen was Barry Callebaut’s CFO for three years.
“He (Mr. Steenbergen) will be leaving us having done the job he signed for and having helped make our company much stronger,” said Antoine Bernard de Saint-Affrique, chief executive officer of Barry Callebaut, in a Nov. 11 earnings call. “So Remco, a big, big thanks to you, and although you’re still with us until the end of the year, I am also delighted to welcome Ben De Schryver as our new CFO. A number of you know Ben from our last Investor Day. Ben has been successfully heading our Asia Pacific over the last years and comes with a very strong business and financial background.”
Barry Callebaut has yet to name a replacement for Mr. De Schryver as president of Asia Pacific.
Barry Callebaut’s sales volume of 2,095,982 tonnes in the 2019-20 fiscal year compared with 2,139,758 tonnes in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Volume declined 14% in the third quarter, which marked the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 4.3% in the fourth quarter.
“Gourmet & Specialties was particularly impacted by the closure of the majority of its outlets in quarter three when the entire world went into lockdown,” Mr. de Saint-Affrique said. “The speed of our recovery in quarter four was rather encouraging, knowing that some channels like our travels and hotels and some geographies were still closed.”
Revenue in the fiscal year dropped 6% to 6.89 billion Swiss francs ($7.51 billion) from 7.41 billion Swiss francs. Net profit fell 15% to 311.5 million Swiss francs ($339.2 million) from 368.7 million Swiss francs.