Zurich — In the first six months of fiscal year 2012/13, Barry Callebaut AG, increased its sales volume by 7.8 percent to 745,256 tons; however, sales revenue and operating profit were down, the company reports.
Growth in volume was driven by long-term outsourcing agreements and strategic partnerships in gourmet and emerging markets, but sales revenue was down 2.4 percent as a result of lower cocoa prices, Barry Callebaut’s half-year results show. Operating profit, which decreased 2.1 percent to $186 million, was impacted by investments in structures, processes and people to accommodate future growth, the company claims. Net profit also dropped 7.4 percent to $124.61 because of the lower operating profit.
Sales volume in the Americas spiked 13.6 percent to 200,434 tons and revenues followed suit with a 3.6 percent increase. Increasing 10.4 percent, operating profit was up to $53.3 million. In North America, growth was driven by the company's global accounts in food manufacturing, which makes up about 63 percent of the company’s total global sales revenue. In terms of sales volume, cocoa products increased 4.9 percent, but low prices brought the company's revenues from the product down 18 percent to $556.69 million.
The company also declared its outlook for 2013. CEO Juergen Steinemann explains: “Based on our four strategic pillars, Expansion, Innovation, Cost Leadership and Sustainable Cocoa, we will continue to deliver robust volume growth. The focus on product margins will remain important. We expect cocoa processing results to increase in the second half of our fiscal year. Our cost base will grow at a slower pace than volume, except for non-recurring costs related to the closing and integration of the Cocoa Ingredients Division from Petra Foods. Considering all this, we are confident of delivering our mid-term guidance.”
The company also has proposed the election of two new members to its Board of Directors, it announced in its report, released today. Fernando Aguirre, former Chairman and CEO of Chiquita Brands International, Inc. who currently serves as a consultant to Chiquita and as Director of Levi Strauss & Co. and Aetna, Inc., has been nominated. Timothy E. Minges, Chairman of PepsiCo Greater China and a member of PepsiCo’s executive committee, is also a nominee. Minges serves on the Tingyi-Asahi Beverage Board.