Barry Callebaut posts significant performance upturn with half-year results
Barry Callebaut's Australian site near Melbourne. Pic: Barry Callebaut
A key upturn in financial performance was recorded by the Barry Callebaut Group for its latest half-year results, with sales revenues increasing 15.8% to CHF 4.03 billion, and net profits rising 3.6% to CHF 212.1 million, reports Neill Barston.
The business noted that its improved position came despite a backdrop of challenging conditions with the cocoa sector, as well as wider industry tests including rising ingredients costs, and issues relating to its continued trading in Russia.
As Confectionery Production recently reported, the company asserted that while it had been ‘profoundly impacted’ but events unfolding in Ukraine, it made the decision to continue operating its assets in the region, which include a chocolate academy in Moscow, and a total of 500 employees across three Russian manufacturing plants serving the local market.
The positive results for the business come amid a number of strategic achievements, including the expansion of its chocolate factory in Campbellfield, Australia, in the Melbourne area, which were acquired from GKC in 2020. (pictured main image). previously covered, the new factory lines significantly enhance the total production capacity of the factory and its range of offerings, allowing for the first liquid chocolate deliveries in Australia.
As the company noted, its expanded presence in the market formed part of its ambition to locate production close to customers and meets the increasing demand for high quality chocolate in Australia, which has the highest per capita consumption in Region Asia Pacific.
Furthermore, another major move for the business was sealed this month in a deal with Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baked goods company, extending their strategic supply agreement, originally signed in 2012. Under the new global long-term agreement, Barry Callebaut will continue to supply chocolate and compound to Grupo Bimbo in Mexico, several countries in Central America, the US, Canada and Uruguay.
In terms of wider innovations, Callebaut also recently launched its Callebaut NXT, a range of dark and milky tasting chocolates for chefs and artisans made from 100% plant-based ingredients. The series is produced in Norderstedt, Germany, the first fully dairy-free facility dedicated to supplying at scale chocolate guaranteed to be free of detectable traces of dairy.
In parallel, Callebaut launched its NXT online platform, which offers artisans inspiration and recipes for premium plant-based chocolate delights.
Moreover, last month two of the group’s recent additional innovations, Elix, Barry Callebaut’s cacaofruit elixir and the first nutraceutical fruit drink, and Cacao Barry’s latest innovation EvocaoTM WholeFruit chocolate, a unique chocolate made from 100% pure cacaofruit, made it to the finals at the World Food Innovation Awards 2022. In the end, EvocaoTM claimed the ‘Best Artisan Product’ category.
On sustainability topics, the company confirmed that since mid-2021 more than 50,000 native trees have been planted under its long-term reforestation project in the Agbo Forest in Ivory Coast. Together with external stakeholders and farmer communities, the Group aims to restore the forest, herewith protecting one of the world’s most biodiverse and fragile ecosystems and supporting cocoa farmer livelihoods.
Adding to this, the business said it will continue to scale over the next three years to reach the objective of planting 150,000 trees on 300 hectares. This reforestation activity comes on top of the almost 2.7 million cocoa seedlings and almost two million non-cocoa trees the Group distributed in the previous fiscal year.
Peter Boone, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group said there had been a strong collective performance from its employee base around the world amid testing times.
He commented: “In the first six months of fiscal year 2021/22 we continued our strong growth trajectory, well ahead of the underlying chocolate confectionery market. A strong performance across the board, in particular in chocolate, delivered strong volume, solid profitability and continued good cash generation.
Looking ahead to how the business has responded during the pandemic as it moves further into 2022, he added: “I am profoundly heartened by the way our colleagues across the globe have come together to support those in need. Our strong team, our global footprint and our cost-plus model make us confident that we can deliver on our mid-term guidance in a continued volatile market environment.”