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Chocolate giant records sweet annual results

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Chocolate giant records sweet annual results
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/File
18:14 CET+01:00
Swiss chocolate and cocoa giant Barry Callebaut on Thursday posted higher full-year results, sweetened by acquisitions, and said its chief executive would step down next year.

The company said it had raked in a net profit of 255 million Swiss francs ($265 million) for its fiscal year ending August 31st, an increase of 14.5 percent from the previous fiscal year.
   
Its sales meanwhile ballooned 20.1 percent to 5.8 billion francs, as it saw its volumes swell 11.8 percent to 2.7 million tonnes.
   
These numbers were significantly boosted by acquisitions during its fiscal year, including the biggest in its history with the purchase of Petra Foods' cocoa business in Singapore.
   
Not counting acquisitions, the Swiss company said its sales volumes rose 2.9 percent, boasting that its business had thus grown faster than the global chocolate market as a whole.
   
"I am very pleased with the successful global integration of the acquired cocoa business as well as its profit contribution already in the first year," company chief Juergen Steinemann said in the statement.
   
He acknowledged though that going forward, "the short-term global economic outlook will remain challenging," stressing the need to "focus on tight cost controls."
   
Steinemann said he expected Barry Callebaut to "continue to outperform the global chocolate market" and to meet its target of growing annual sales volumes by six to eight percent.
   
The German national, who has headed the world's biggest chocolate maker since 2009, said he would be stepping down at the end of August next year to join the board as vice chairman.
   
Following the news, the company saw its share price rise more than three percent in midday trading to 1.036 Swiss francs a piece as the Swiss market slipped 0.38 percent.

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