Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, has successfully continued its dynamic growth in fiscal year 2007/08, ending on 31 August, 2008. Sales volumes rose 10.1% to 1,166,007t, driven by additional business with existing and new customers. Sales revenue increased strongly by 17.3% to CHF 4,815.4 million, mostly due to higher volumes and partly due to higher raw material prices. Excluding cocoa price and exchange rate effects, sales revenue rose 14.3%. As communicated in April 2008, the factors that slowed EBIT growth in the first semester did not reoccur. As a result of this and ongoing cost saving programs, EBIT growth accelerated in the second semester.
For the fiscal year as a whole, operating profit (EBIT) rose 5.3% to CHF 341.1 million. Net profit for the year, including discontinued operations, increased 65.6% to CHF 205.5 million. Net profit from continuing operations rose by 1.0% to CHF 209.1 million. A loss on the sale of financial assets and higher financial expenses had a negative impact on net profit in fiscal year 2007/08.
Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of Barry Callebaut, said: “I am satisfied with the sales and profit growth generated in the past fiscal year, which was in line with our expectations. Thanks to our robust business model and our ability to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, we were able to offset record-high raw material costs and accelerate our operating profit growth in the second semester.”
He added: “Additionally, we continued to grow more than three times as fast as the global chocolate market. These achievements, especially in the face of a challenging market environment, underline the effectiveness of our growth strategy.”
Looking ahead, CEO Patrick De Maeseneire continued: “The robustness of Barry Callebaut’s business model, the proven success of our growth strategy and our position as the global market leader will enable us to perform in line with our growth targets in the current fiscal year. Additionally, chocolate is a defensive industry and consumption has proven resilient in previous economic downturns.”
“Indeed, we continued to see good growth in the first two months of the current fiscal year. Thanks to our targeted expansion into high-growth markets, we now have an unrivalled global presence. In addition, we benefit from long-term supply contracts, a diversified product offering and a solid financial structure. All these factors, combined with our ongoing cost savings and efficiency initiatives, make us confident that we will reach our four-year financial targets, barring any major unforeseen events.”