Barry Callebaut sells slightly less chocolate in the first quarter (stock image)
In the future, however, the chocolate manufacturer wants to continue growing – albeit not quite as strongly as after the pandemic. For the coming years, BC is targeting volume growth of 4 to 6 percent.
The world’s largest chocolate maker sold 579 kilotons of chocolate from September to November, he wrote in a communiqué on Wednesday. That is 5.1 percent less than in the previous year. The reasons for this include a generally declining market and high comparative figures.
The quarter was also affected for the last time by the closure of the world’s largest chocolate factory in Wieze, Belgium. After lengthy cleaning work due to a salmonella case, it was only possible to increase this to full capacity again in mid-October.
Sales were CHF 2.11 billion. This corresponds to growth of 7.2 percent. In Swiss francs, however, growth would only have been 3.8 percent.
With the figures presented, the company missed the estimates of the analysts. On average, they had expected a drop in volume of 3.3 percent and sales of CHF 2.13 billion.
With the current fiscal year, the medium-term financial targets of the company expire at the end of November. BC had raised current targets slightly to 5-7% compound annual volume growth and higher EBIT growth in local currencies due to Coronadelle and the subsequent recovery. These medium-term goals will still be adhered to in the current year.
Since the recovery phase after the corona pandemic is slowly over, BC’s goals will also drop from next year. The company is aiming for annual volume growth of 4 to 6 percent by the end of the 2025/26 financial year. In addition, BC gives a concrete EBITDA growth target. Operating profit is expected to increase by 8 to 10 percent annually.
Management expects improvements in the coming quarters.