Lindt 2010 profits jump, Aus sales “fall short”

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 16th March 2011

Lindt gold bunnySwiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprungli yesterday posted a jump in 2010 profits as sales grew, boosted by its operations in the US and the UK.

The company booked net profit of CHF241.9 million (A$265 million), up 25.3% on 2009. EBIT, meanwhile, rose 22.8% to CHF325.3 million.

Lindt said its sales were up 7.3% on an organic basis at CHF2.6 billion. That figure, however, was measured in local currencies. The strength of the Swiss franc dampened growth, with sales in Lindt’s domestic currency rising 2.2%.

Nonetheless, Lindt said it had gained market share “practically everywhere” and said all its subsidiaries had seen “achieved faster growth than the market average” – with the exception of Australia. Sales in Australia, Lindt said, had “fallen short of expectations”.

However, Lindt said its leading markets in 2010 were the US, Canada and the UK. It also said it had witnessed “substantial growth rates” in Italy, Spain, France and Germany, markets, the firm explained, that had been hit by the economic crisis in 2009.

This year, Lindt said consumer sentiment was expected to continue to improve but cautioned that the “unstable” situation in the cocoa market was “likely to persist” amid the unrest in Cote d’Ivoire. Other raw-material prices were, Lindt said, “hard to predict”.

The company is predicting that sales will rise by 6-8% on an organic basis. It is also targeting EBIT growth of 8-10%.

The manufacturer also announced today that it has reorganised its senior managerial structure to better position itself for international growth.

Lindt shares were down 0.7% at 11:17 CET today.

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