Barry Callebaut AG (BYCBF.PK), a Swiss manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, on Monday said its first-half net profit declined 18 percent to 121.8 million Swiss Francs from 148.6 million francs last year due to higher operating expenses as well as higher financing costs related to the bond placement in summer 2011. In local currencies, profit fell 11.3 percent.
Sales volume grew 6.7 percent to 699,058 tonnes and again outperformed the worldwide chocolate confectionery market, the company said. Sales revenue increased 3 percent to 2.48 billion francs from last year's 2.40 billion francs. Sales grew 10.4 percent in local currencies.
The company noted that all regions and product groups contributed to the volume growth, which rebounded strongly in the second quarter.
CEO Juergen Steinemann said, "After an anticipated slow start in Q1, we regained momentum in Q2, in all Regions and across all Product Groups. Once again, we outpaced the global chocolate market. Several major new partnership deals were signed, confirming an important part of our business model. In the last six months, we initiated selective investments in our future growth. This temporarily affected our bottom-line results."
Looking ahead, the company said it is confident of reaching mid-term financial targets, even though the economic environment in Western Europe and North America remains fragile.
The company's four-year growth targets for 2009/10-2012/13 include on average 6-8 percent volume growth and average EBIT growth in local currencies at least in line with volume growth.
by RTT Staff Writer
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