Barry Callebaut Group post exceptional 9-month sales figures, salmonella impact yet to be determined

BELGIUM— The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has reported sales revenue growth of 13.5% to US$6.3 billion for the first nine months of 2021-22, on strong demand.

As the Swiss-headquartered business noted it also recorded strong volume growth, up 7.9% to 1,751,422 for the period, with the company posting an improved position for its chocolate operations.

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Barry Callebaut said its chocolate operations outpaced the global chocolate confectionery market during the period, thanks to strong demand across regions and a continued recovery in its gourmet business that caters to bakeries and chefs.

According to the company, its chocolate business continued its strong momentum in the third quarter (being up 7.5%), against a high comparison. Consequently, volume growth of +9.1% over the first nine months of fiscal year 2021/22 was well ahead of the underlying global chocolate confectionery market (+1.4%).

This included increases in all its regions – (EMEA 9.8%, Americas 6.6%, Asia Pacific 14.7%), with positive contributions from the group’s key growth drivers Gourmet & Specialties (27.4%), Emerging Markets (8.7%) and Outsourcing (6.9%). Furthermore, sales volume in Global Cocoa grew by +3.5% to 339,437 tonnes.

Despite the stellar financial performance, in the first three quarters, Barry Callebaut is bracing for a significant financial impact after stopping production because of Salmonella contamination at its Wieze production facilities in Belgium, which forced the temporary shutdown of its operations at the end of June.

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Although the company is still assessing the full effect of the incident, it is expected to be “notable” in the financial figures for the fourth quarter 2021/22. Full year results will be published in November.

Barry Callebaut is to resume production at the site in Weize from next month. The first cleaned lines should restart in early August, with a gradual ramp-up to full capacity over the following weeks.

Commenting on the situation with regards to the salmonella outbreak, CEO Peter Boone said: “We are working closely with our customers and fully understand that this incident is disruptive to their planning. We want to thank them for the good cooperation and understanding.”

Barry Callebaut had earlier confirmed that, based on its internal investigation, no affected products had entered the retail supply chain.

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