Callebaut’s sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2013/14 grew 22% to CHF 4.3bn ($4.8bn) and sales volumes were up 15.8% to 1.2m metric tons (MT).
Sales were partly driven by higher raw material costs for cocoa and sugar that pushed up sale prices and resulted in strong performance in the firm’s global cocoa business.
The global cocoa segment includes Petra Foods’ former cocoa ingredients business, which Callebaut acquired last year for around $800m. Sales revenue for the division grew 68.3% to CHF 1.3bn ($1.4bn).
But Barry Callebaut warned of “selective sales in an overall challenging market for cocoa powder products.”
Reuters recently reported that cocoa butter demand in Asia had risen at the expense of cocoa powder – which had led butter prices to climb and powder prices to fall.
Juergen Steinemann, CEO of Barry Callebaut, said: “While the cocoa powder market remains challenging, we are very satisfied with the integration of the acquired cocoa business.”
He continued: “Our priorities remain to complete the integration of the acquired cocoa business and to strengthen our product margins.”
He added that the firm would expand existing factories and said Callebaut was on track to reach its mid-term targets of 6-8% volume growth for the year and EBIT per MT of CHF 256 by 2015/16.
This month, Barry Callebaut will open a chocolate factory in Santiago de Chile that will add 20,000 MT and aid the company’s expansion in South America.
Callebaut grew sales revenues in all of its regions for the first nine-months of 2013/14. Growth was strongest in Asia-Pacific, followed by Europe then the Americas.