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Barry Callebaut sales rise, outperforms flat chocolate market

(Adds details on sales, outlook, background, and global market scenario)

By John Revill

ZURICH, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Barry Callebaut said on Wednesday it had outperformed the global chocolate industry after its sales volume rose 8.2% in the three months ended Nov. 30, helped by favourable comparables and its recently acquired Russian company Inforum.

The global chocolate confectionery market has been flat off-late, but Barry Callebaut has been able to expand due to its dual focus on supplying to big food groups such as Nestle and Mondelez and also to professional chefs and bakers.

“We had a strong start to the year, outperforming the overall flat underlying chocolate confectionery market. Our volume growth was broad-based, with positive contributions from all regions and key growth drivers,” Chief Executive Antoine de Saint-Affrique said in a statement.

Sales volume rose 8.2% to 586,000 tonnes in the first three months of fiscal 2019-20, an acceleration from 1.7% growth in the year-ago period, the company said.

Sales revenue increased 6.3% to 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.06 billion), said the Zurich-based company, which makes chocolate for big food groups.

Outsourcing contracts for food manufacturers increased by 2.7%, while the companies sales in emerging markets accelerated 16.7% and its gourmet products for chefs and bakers by 4.4%, Barry Callebaut said.

The company confirmed its mid-term outlook of 4-6% volume growth and earnings before interest tax above that level.

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Thomas Seythal and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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