SWITZERLAND – Barry Callebaut Group, one of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers and cocoa processors, sold 3.7% fewer products in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) in the first six months of the fiscal year, as volume amounted to 517,593 tonnes.

Despite a drop in sales volume in the region, the company said growth momentum picked up in the second quarter, a positive of 1.8%, and was well above the declining underlying global confectionery market of 2.4%, with Half Year standing at a negative 3.2%.

In the region, the chocolate manufacturer had a sales revenue of CHF 1,842.5 million (US$2.035bn), representing 8% growth and its operating profit (EBIT) soared 6.7% to CHF 205.1 million (US$226.60m).

The EBIT growth was a result of the Group’s ability to pass on higher costs amid the general inflationary environment and a positive mix effect.

In the Asia-Pacific region, sales volume remained flat (+0.3%) at 81,344 tonnes in the first six months. Sales revenue amounted to CHF 276.0 million, up 0.5%, and operating profit (EBIT) had a slight decline of 6.8% to CHF 28.7 million due to a softer volume recovery and a shift in the mix.

According to Nielsen, the Asia Pacific underlying chocolate confectionery market grew by 2.5%, however, this data reflects a limited number of markets.

For the Half year results, sales volume in Region Americas declined by 4.4% to 304,032 tonnes due to an overall soft underlying chocolate confectionery market, plummeting by 0.5% and against a high comparator in the prior-year period.

Revenue from sales amounted to CHF 1,114.9 million, a 9.1% increase. Despite lower volume, the continued focus on the acceleration up the value ladder supported strong profitability, leading to an operating profit (EBIT) of CHF 116.2 million, 11.2% growth compared to prior-year EBIT recurring.

Sales volume in Global Cocoa recovered in the second quarter, a jump of 2.6%, leading to a normalized flat of negative 0.1%, volume stood at 227,773 tonnes in the first six months of the fiscal year.

Revenue amounted to CHF 947.3 million, a 7.8% fall as operating profit (EBIT) improved substantially to CHF 52.1 million, up 30.9% compared to prior-year EBIT recurring, which was impacted by an imbalanced cocoa market.

In the half-year 2022/23, terminal market prices for cocoa beans increased by +11.3% versus the prior-year period.

Conversely, Barry Callebaut revealed that the global bean supply and demand forecast for 2022/23 indicates a deficit.

In General, the company had sales revenue of CHF 4.2 billion (US$4.64bn), a 3.7% increase with a net profit rise of 10.7% to CHF 234.3 million (US$258.9m) as much as sales volume declined by 2.9%.

CFO Ben De Schryver said due to the delayed volume growth, the company forecasts a flat volume growth to modest for the Full Year 2022/23.

Over the three years guidance period, he expects Barry Callebaut to have an average volume growth of below 5% with EBIT strongly outperforming.

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