Lindt & Sprüngli confectionery group maintains strong annual performance
The Lindt & Sprüngli Group has posted continued positive growth results for 2018, with sales increasing by 5.5% to CHF 4.3 billion.
Organic sales growth amounted to +5.1%, which is within the set target range. Lindt & Sprüngli expanded its market share in all countries, despite challenging conditions within some of the company’s markets.
The company said the solid growth of the group once again laid the foundation for a successful operating performance: operating profit (EBIT) rose by 6.9% to CHF 636.7 million. The EBIT margin also improved again to 14.8%, and net income rose by 7.6% to CHF 487.1 million, providing a return on sales of 11.3%.
As the business revealed, Europe remains the most important one for the Lindt & Sprüngli Group, contributing almost half of group sales. Overall organic growth in the European markets was a very solid +5.6%. The Group also managed to increase its share of all the mostly saturated European markets, generating higher than average growth. Sales performance was particularly strong in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Spain, while growth in the European subsidiaries managed to climb into the double digits.
Work continued on the expansion and modernisation of the Olten facility, the Lindt Cocoa Center, with the aim of strengthening Switzerland’s position within the Group. The official ceremony to open the new facility is scheduled for June 2019.
With the US, which the company conceded had been “exposed to flat growth and price pressure,” organic sales growth amounted to +2.8%. One highlight in the region came with double-digit growth by Lindt & Sprüngli in Canada.
Lindt USA and Ghirardelli also achieved positive sales growth and outperformed the overall market. Russell Stover reported a slight decline. The new sugar-free chocolate line with stevia extract performed well and extended its market share in this segment. Another re-launch is planned for 2019, this time with the top-selling line of assorted pralines. The new and very fresh design has already been presented to retailers and feedback has been very positive.
Over the past financial year, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group has made substantial investments in the North American market in order to lay the foundation for profitable sales growth in future in this region. New logistics centres opened in California, Georgia, and Texas, creating the capacities and synergies in the supply chain for our brands, Lindt, Ghirardelli, and Russell Stover. With these three brands, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group maintains a market leading position in the premium segment.