Zurich – Barry Callebaut has achieved the sweetest result in the last financial year 2017/18 (as of the end of August) since this chocolate maker exists. The industry leader sold as much cocoa and chocolate products as she never had. At the same time the coffers rang.
"We had a great year," Antoine de Saint-African CEO Antoine de Saint-Afrique said on Wednesday in a conference call, with sales climbing more than 6 percent to 2.04 million tonnes. The global chocolate market of 1.8 percent was a significant deviation.
"For many years we have been hitting the global chocolate market," San Afrique said. Growth in the last fiscal year has been broadly based. All product groups and regions have made a strong contribution.
Red chocolate pink brings margins
The company's activities in Zurich range from purchasing and processing cocoa beans to chocolates, including fillings, decorations and chocolate mixes. Customers include pastry chefs or other food manufacturers such as Nestlé or chocolate makers Cadbury and Hershey.
For example, Barry Callebaut introduced the pink chocolate berries last fall after ten years of development, which tastes a bit like yogurt. At the beginning of the year, Nestle presented Barry's big ruby, which is much more expensive than the traditional jacket.
Premium Ruby product throws higher margins than conventional products. New pieces are also vegan magnum-glas or chocolate bars with low sugar. These examples show how Barry Callebaut manages to increase profits year after year.
New record profits
Earnings reached new highs in the last financial year. Operating profit (EBIT) increased by 20.4% to 554 million Swiss francs. However, the group has adjusted the data for the previous year. As a result, data for the previous year declined and profits were higher. Without these changes, the EBIT would have risen by only 13.5%.
In the balance sheet, Barry Callebaut increased net profit to 357.4 million Swiss francs. This is 27.1% more than in the previous year. Without adjustment, there was an increase of 18%.
Sales, largely dependent on cocoa price growth, rose 2.1 percent to only 6.95 billion Swiss francs. The weaker growth was due to lower commodity prices of cocoa beans or sugar, which Barry transferred to customers for much of the business. "We focus on volume and profitability, not on sales," San-Afrique said.
Berry Callebaut has largely deviated from the expectations of the financial community, which is expected to have lower growth, sales and operating income. Analysts praised the numbers as very strong. On the Swiss stock market slightly higher, the stock rose 1.9% at 1:30.
"We are very confident of achieving the medium-term goals," said St. African's CEO, with an annual sales volume of 4% -6% and a further increase in operating profit (AWP / MC / PS)
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