Barry Callebaut pairs back targeted volume growth

January 18, 2023 06:15 PM AEDT | By Reuters
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ZURICH (Reuters) - Barry Callebaut announced on Wednesday its first quarter results along with a new, lower, mid-term guidance of 4%-6% volume growth.

Volumes fell 5.1% in the three months to the end of November, the world's largest chocolate maker said, as it was hit by lower output at its biggest factory.

Volumes fell to 579,000 tonnes from 610,000 tonnes a year earlier, said the company whose products are used by food makers including Nestle and Unilever.

The declines occurred as the Swiss company started ramping up production again at its Wieze factory in Belgium, which was hit by a salmonella scare last year.

Sales revenue increased by 3.8% to 2.1 billion Swiss francs ($2.28 billion), as the company passed on raw material price increases the company said. In local currencies, revenues increased by 7.2%.

"With Wieze fully operational since the end of October and against a strong comparator, we had, as expected, a slow start to the year," said Chief Executive Peter Boone in a statement.

"In markets where Gourmet products were widely available, we continued to win. We are committed to achieve our current 3-year mid-term guidance in this final year, based on our broad product portfolio and broad geographic and customer base."

Barry Callebaut also announced a new mid-term guidance of 4-6% volume growth for the years 2023 - 2026, slightly down from the current 5-7% targeted volume growth for the three years up to 2023.

"We had expected coming out of Covid an acceleration," Boone said. "The acceleration is back to a normal trajectory."

Barry Callebaut also said it would target 8%-10% EBIT growth in local currencies for the period 2023-2026.

($1 = 0.9229 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Revill and Noele Illien; Editing by Paul Carrel and Christian Schmollinger)


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