Barry Callebaut trade volumes return to pre-pandemic levels as former CEO makes a comeback

SWITZERLAND – Swiss chocolate maker, Barry Callebaut has seen trade volumes return back to pre-pandemic levels thanks to pandemic-weary customers returning to cafes and bakeries for chocolate cakes. 

In its financial overview of fiscal year 2020/21 (ended August 31), Barry Callebaut Group saw volumes grow 4.6%, to over 2 million metric tons with the Gourmet and Specialities segments having a positive impact on the mix.  

Volume growth was supported by all of the company’s regional businesses with the Asia Pacific delivering an 8.7% growth, the Americas expanding by 7.9%, and the EMEA improving by 5.5%.  

Sales revenue increased by 8.7% in local currencies (+4.6% in CHF) to CHF 7.207billion (US$7.9019 billion). 

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Net profit for the year grew by 24.2% in local currencies (20.4% in CHF), compared to the prior year, and amounted to CHF 384.5 million (US$421.5 million). 

“By leveraging our global footprint, industry-best innovation, cost leadership, and impactful sustainability solutions, we are on track to accelerate up the value ladder. This makes us confident we will deliver on our mid-term guidance,” says Peter Boone, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group. 

Cocoa bean prices fell in 2020/21 due to a large cocoa bean surplus, but Boone said he expected improving demand to lead to a more balanced situation in the current fiscal year. 

Prices for sugar and milk however increased significantly during the fiscal due to demand outstripping supply, particularly in Europe and Asia.  

Business deals and innovations of the year 

During the fiscal year, Barry completed a number of business deals including the completion of the European Chocolate Company acquisition and the extension of a strategic supply agreement with Hershey North America. 

Barry Callebaut also inaugurated its new factory in Novi Sad, Serbia, opened its new Chocolate Academy Center in Belgrade, and re-opened its Chocolate Academy Center after relocation in Dubai.   

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During the year, Barry also expanded its range of plant-based indulgences for special dietary requirements and launched a drinking chocolate powder with less sugar made its debut in Taiwan. 

In Japan, Barry Callebaut developed low-carb chocolate with no added sugar for a leading brand in protein bars and also succeed in introducing “Elix,” an industry-first nutraceutical fruit drink made from cacao fruit. 

After a particularly impressive year, Barry has confirmed its target of average annual volume growth of 5%-7% in the three-year period to 2022/2023. 

The Zurich-based producer and supplier of Chocolates also raised its dividend by 27% to 28 Swiss francs per share for 2020/21. 

Antoine de Saint-Affrique makes a comeback 

Former Chief Executive Antoine de Saint-Affrique, now CEO at Danone, was proposed to join its board of directors. 

“He will bring to the Board a profound knowledge of the fast-moving consumer goods industry, deep insights into the upstream supply chain and sustainability,” Barry Callebaut said. 

Saint-Affrique served as Barry Callebaut CEO from October 2015 until August 2021 before moving back to his home country France to serve as CEO of Danone Group.  

Barry said that all members of the Board will stand for reelection for another term of office of one year during the upcoming 2021 AGM which will be held virtually.  

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