Barry Callebaut thwarts global chocolate declines to grow volume and revenue

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Hershey and Unilever supplier reports strong growth for start of fiscal 2015/16
Hershey and Unilever supplier reports strong growth for start of fiscal 2015/16

Related tags Sales volumes Chocolate Cocoa solids Cocoa butter Barry callebaut

Barry Callebaut has posted increased volumes and revenue in the first quarter of financial year 2015/16 despite declines in the global chocolate confectionery market.

The world’s top cocoa processor grew sales volumes by 6.4% to 494,873 metric tons (MT) for the three months to November 30.

Revenues grew 13.3% in local currencies and 3.8% in Swiss Francs to CHF 1.8bn ($1.8bn).

Outpacing the chocolate market

During the same period, sales volumes dropped 3.7% in the global chocolate confectionery market, according to figures from Nielsen

The biggest volume decline for the overall chocolate market came in the Americas (-5.4%), followed by (Europe, Middle East, Africa (-3.2%) and Asia (-1%), Nielsen data showed.

Barry Callebaut partly avoided the declines through its activities in other areas such as cocoa-based beverages and yogurts.

 “While the cocoa products market remains challenging in this fiscal year in terms of profitability, our business model is proving robust with a broad-based and strongly performing chocolate and compound business,”​ said the firm’s CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique, who joined the company in October from Unilever.

Supply deals drive growth in Asia

Barry Callebaut’s growth was fastest in Asia Pacific, where sales volumes grew 13.9% to 20,716 MT and revenues increased 11.6% in local currencies, driven by supply deals.

Barry Callebaut has chocolate supply partnerships with regional players such as Japan’s Morinaga, Indonesia’s GarudaFood and Sinagpore-based Petra Foods.

During the three months, Barry Callebaut posted a 7.1% rise in sales volumes in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) to 220,196 and 11% revenue growth in local currencies. Barry Callebaut speciality and gourmet products helped accelerate growth in the region.

In the Americas, the firm upped sales volumes by 13.2% to 131,230 MT and revenues by 9% in local currencies. The rise was attributed to chocolate outsourcing agreements, such as those held with Arcor, Grupo Bimbo, Hershey, Unilever and World’s Finest Chocolate.

Cocoa ingredients: Volumes fall but revenues rise

Barry Callebaut’s Global Cocoa division – which supplies cocoa ingredients such as butter, powder and liquor – saw a 2% decline in sales volumes to 122,731 MT after a downturn in the combined cocoa ratio.   

The combined ratio is the price of cocoa butter and cocoa powder at European factories relative to the futures price for cocoa beans and determines profitability for cocoa grinders.

However, a rise in cocoa ingredients prices meant revenues for Barry Callebaut’s Global Cocoa division rose 20% in local currencies to CHF 549m ($548m).

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