Barry Callebaut outlines long-term growth plans amid improved annual results

Swiss-headquartered Barry Callebaut has delivered its annual results for 2022/23 with improved revenues up 4.7% to 8.47 billion, and net profits also rising by 9.6% to CHF 443 million, despite wider operational challenges faced by the company, reports Neill Barston.

As the business acknowledged, a salmonella incident at its core chocolate production site in Wieze, Belgium, resulted in a negative impact on the business in terms of sales volumes, which were down 1.1%, to 2,280,925 tonnes, which in turn had resulted in weaker customer demand during the period.

Despite this, the company stated that amid a period of significant change for the business, it projected an upbeat assessment of its latest strategies, which have been built upon a renewed focus on digital transformation of the business under its new management team led by recently-appointed CEO Peter Feld.

At a corporate meeting this week in the UK, it outlined its objectives into several key areas. This included a theme of deepening outsourcing partnerships within the FMCG consumer goods space. This will enable it to leverage its innovation capabilities to create better chocolate solutions for customers. According to the company, it is aiming to win two thirds of outsourcing partnership volumes expected to come to the market.

In addition, it is launching its ‘Gourmet 2.0’ plan of moving closer to markets and customers to better serve foodservice and artisanal customers and chains by broadening the focus across premium and mainstream market segments, simplifying its brand portfolio and routes to market.

Furthermore, it is also aiming to ramp-up its specialities business in high growth areas such as gluten-free, vegan, single origin and other specialty chocolates. To achieve this, Barry Callebaut will continue to evolve its product offering to focus on the most scalable market segments and launch a dedicated customer-focused innovation capability. As another core pillar of its operations, the business confirmed that it is also set to target the doubling of growth within its  APAC business to deliver value market share in line with the wider Group.

In its forward projections, the company estimated that its combined strategies would take around 24 months to implement, targeting long-term growth for the business. Notably, it stated that growth would be flat in 2024. This is anticipated to be partially offset by its ‘Next Level’ actions including rationalising its product range and distribution channels. For 2025, the company anticipated ‘modest’ growth.

Peter Feld, CEO of Barry Callebaut Group, commented: “Our purpose is to create the world’s best chocolate solutions for our customers – now and in the future. As the leader in the attractive, growing chocolate ingredients market and given our strength in sustainability and innovation, we are ideally positioned to outgrow the market. Our strategic growth priorities in combination with our BC Next Level investment program set the course for sustainable profitable growth and higher cash generation. We will deliver to our customers better value, service, quality and sustainability and make Barry Callebaut a much more resilient and profitable business, creating long-term value for all our stakeholders.


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