MILAN – Barry Callebaut – the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland – said sales volumes recovered in the final quarter of its fiscal year showing a recovery of 4.3%, after slumping because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It added solid financials supported its confidence in its mid-term guidance. In fiscal year 2019/20 (ended August 31, 2020) the Barry Callebaut Group saw its sales volume decline by –2.0% to 2,095,982 tonnes, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a –14.3% decline in the third quarter at the height of the pandemic, sales volume showed – as anticipated – a recovery in the fourth quarter (–4.3%).
Sales volume in the chocolate business declined by –2.1% in the fiscal year under review. The underlying global chocolate confectionery market was down –0.3% in the year under review according to Nielsen. Sales volume in Global Cocoa was down –2.0%.
Sales revenue declined by –0.4% in local currencies (–5.7% in CHF) to CHF 6,893.1 million.
Gross profit amounted to CHF 1,063.7 million, a decline of –6.8% in local currencies (–11.3% in CHF) compared to prior year. The volume decline in the second half of the year due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, particularly in Gourmet & Specialties, had an adverse impact on the product mix.
Operating profit (EBIT) recurring amounted to CHF 491.0 million, a decrease of –13.8% in local currencies (–18.5% in CHF), compared to prior year.6 Currencies had a strong negative translation effect of CHF –29 million. As announced with the Half-Year Results, the closure of the cocoa factory in Makassar, Indonesia, had a negative impact of CHF –7.8 million. As a result, the reported EBIT amounted to CHF 483.2 million, down –15.1% in local currencies (–19.8% in CHF) compared to prior year.6 The recurring EBIT per tonne amounted to CHF 234 compared to CHF 282 in prior year.
Net profit for the year recurring amounted to CHF 319.3 million, down –13.3% in local currencies (–18.5% in CHF) compared to prior year.6 The reported Net profit for the year amounted to CHF 311.5 million, down –9.4% in local currencies (–14.8% in CHF) compared to prior year. 6 The net finance costs decreased to CHF 102.4 million from CHF 148.4 million in prior year, which included a CHF 33.0 million one-off expense for the early repayment of the EUR 250 million Senior Note. The income tax expenses amounted to CHF –69.2 million in 2019/20, which corresponds to an effective tax rate of 18.2% (18.6% in prior year).
Net working capital decreased to CHF 1,192.0 million from CHF 1,363.2 million in prior year. This was the result of good working capital management across the board and the benefit of lower receivables due to a COVID-19 impact on volume. This more than offset the impact of higher inventories due to rising cocoa bean prices.
Net debt decreased to CHF 1,365.9 million compared to CHF 1,509.9 million in prior year. Taking into consideration the cocoa bean inventories as readily marketable inventories (RMI), adjusted Net debt decreased to CHF 593.9 million from CHF 816.9 million in prior year.
Strong Free cash flow generation continued and amounted to CHF 317 million compared to CHF 324 million in prior year. Adjusted for the effect of cocoa beans considered as readily marketable inventories (RMI), the adjusted Free cash flow amounted to CHF 404 million compared to CHF 291 million in prior year.
Looking ahead, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, said:
“Although markets are still volatile, we will further pursue expansion and drive for new opportunities, thanks to our continued focus on customers and our strong innovation pipeline. This, together with our solid financial basis, supports the confidence in our mid-term guidance.”