In the first 9 months of fiscal year 2016/17 (ended May 31, 2017), the Barry Callebaut Group – manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products – grew its sales volume by +2.8% to 1,414,654 tonnes. The company achieved this growth in a global chocolate confectionery market that declined by -0.6% over the last 9 months, but recently bounced back with a growth of +2.3% during the last 3 months of the period2.
Barry Callebaut achieved solid volume growth across all regions over the first 9 months, with an acceleration in Q3 (+5.5%). This momentum was supported by its key growth drivers Gourmet & Specialties (+11.6%), Outsourcing (+9.7%) and Emerging Markets (+3.3%). For the first 9 months, the intentional phase-out of less profitable cocoa contracts weighed on overall volume development, but sales volume in Global Cocoa for Q3 was back at the same level as the prior-year period. The phase-out of these contracts, amounting to 50,000-60,000 tonnes overall, has now been completed. Sales revenue increased by +2.9% in local currencies (+3.7% in CHF) to CHF 5,193.5 million, in line with volume growth and a better product mix, offset by lower cocoa bean prices.
Outlook: Healthy portfolio and good momentum
Looking ahead, CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique said: “’Smart growth’ will continue to be at the heart of our strategy execution. This means driving above-market volume growth, enhanced profitability and free cash flow generation. The phase-out of less profitable cocoa contracts is now completed; we continue to see a healthy portfolio and expect the good momentum to remain. On this basis we confirm our mid-term guidance.”