Ferrero posts improved €10.7 billion turnover for its global confectionery operations
Italian-based Ferrero International S.A, parent company of the Ferrero Group, has reported continued growth, with a 2018 financial turnover of €10.7 billion, up 2.1% year-on-year.
According to the company, sales of finished products increased by 3.5% (6.8% at constant rates) driven principally by Germany, France, Italy, Poland, UK and the USA.
Among the products driving the upturn in product sales were Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Joy, Kinder Bueno and Kinder Chocolate.
As previously reported by Confectionery Production, the company had continued with its multi-million UK marketing of these core ranges, with its product range now available in 170 countries around the world.
Significantly, the company reported capital investments of €673 million, with €596 million of that figure on improving its plants and equipment, mainly in Italy, but also at its sites in Germany, Canada, Poland, and Belgium. Ferrero said it was also placing a continued focus on financing a new headquarters building in Luxembourg.
The group, led by executive chairman Giovanni Ferrero and CEO Lapo Civiletti, now consists of 94 global companies. It consists of 25 operating manufacturing plants, and despite challenging trading conditions in some of its markets, the group welcomed its latest results which showed consistent growth.
In addition, the business said that it continued to boost investment in its brands and maintain a high level of operating income as well as strengthen internal R&D activities.The Group’s average workforce in 2017/2018 was 31,748, an increase from 30,305 employees in 2016/2017. The headcount as of August 31, 2018 amounted to 35,146 employees, compared to 34,543 as of August 31, 2017.
The company attracted headlines last year as it sought to expand its research teams, placing adverts for an expanded team of taste-testers, in a bid to further refine its range of confectionery offerings.
Last autumn, the business released its 9th annual Corporate Social Responsibility report, which charted its focus on key issues of sustainable sourcing, which included 70% of its cocoa now being certified, and 25% traceability of hazelnuts. In terms of palm oil sourcing for its Nutella brand, the company has previously emerged with a highly regarded rating from the WWF international environmental and wildlife protection charity with regard to progress made.
As the business added, it is continuing to invest in improving and expanding its factories, plants and equipment in line with its entrepreneurial and social commitments, as part of its corporate strategies. Key corporate strategies led to ongoing improvements in the quality and competitiveness of the products portfolio, while paying close attention to product freshness, food safety and the environment, which remains an important commitment for the Ferrero Group.
One of its key successes of the past twelve months has been the acquisition of Nestlé USA’s chocolate confectionary business. This included household US names including the Butterfinger bar range (which the company is relaunching this month), BabyRuth, 100Grand, Raisinets, and the exclusive right of Crunch brand within the American market that became part of the Ferrero brand portfolio. The acquisition also included two manufacturing facilities in Illinois.