Cadbury expects 'sweet' sales


Cadbury expects 'sweet' sales
Cadbury Schweppes expects to report a growth in confectionary revenue for the full year, following higher chocolate sales in the UK.

In a statement today the confectionary giant said the recovery of its UK chocolate business over the second-half had been accompanied by "outstanding growth" in US chewing gum sales.

UK-based Cadbury now expects like-for-like confectionary revenue growth for the full year to be higher than the four to six per cent range previously announced as a goal by the company.

The chocolate maker said it also expected to report a modest improvement to confectionary margins for 2007, with the company having implemented recent price increases in a number of its markets to offset continued rises in food commodity costs.

In Britain, Cadbury confirmed its chocolate business had boosted its market share in recent months, aided by the re-launch of its iconic 1980s Wispa bar and additional money spent marketing its key Dairy Milk brand.

Cadbury added it had made a "positive start" to the Christmas trading season in the UK, where chewing gum sales have also grown strongly.

In addition to particularly strong gum sales in the US, Cadbury also reported stronger chocolate and gum sales in South Africa – one of the company's emerging markets.

Commenting on the group's recent performance, Cadbury Schweppes chief executive Todd Stitzer said: "Our continued strong confectionery performance reflects sustained investment behind growth and capabilities combined with a recovery in UK chocolate.

"While the economic outlook for 2008 is uncertain, we are confident that our trading momentum will carry on into the new year, supported by our confectionery growth and efficiency initiatives."

Meanwhile the company confirmed plans to demerge its North American soft drinks business were on track.

Cadbury announced its intention to spin off the beverages unit, which makes drinks such as Dr Pepper, after the ongoing global credit crunch derailed hopes of selling the business to private equity buyers.

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