Friday 14 June 2024
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Barry Callebaut reports 3-month sales revenue of CHF 2.2B, up +14.1%

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ZURICH, Switzerland – The Barry Callebaut Group reported sales volume of 580,876 tonnes during the first three months of the fiscal year 2023/24 (ended on November 30, 2023). Volume was slightly up +0.4%, ahead of a challenging and overall declining chocolate confectionery market according to Nielsen (-2.7%)¹. The chocolate business grew +0.7% in the period against a low comparative in Q1 2022/23, which was still affected by limited product availability due to the Q4 2021/22 Wieze salmonella incident.

During the quarter, the global volume performance was – as expected – suppressed by the weak growth environment for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, as global corporate account customers managed cost inflation.

This was partly mitigated as Barry Callebaut was able to capture the consumer shift towards private label products through its diversified business model

In line with these trends, Food Manufacturers declined -0.8%, while Gourmet and Specialties volume grew +9.1% against the soft prior year comparator.

In the regions, compared to Q1 2022/23, Western Europe volumes (WEU) grew +4.7% and in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) increased +1.8%. In North America (NA), volume declined -4.0% and in Latin America (LATAM) volume declined -1.3%. In Region Asia Middle East and Africa (AMEA) volume declined -1.5%. Sales volume in Global Cocoa declined -1.1%.

Sales revenue amounted to CHF 2,241.1 million, an increase of +14.1% in local currencies (+6.2% in CHF), ahead of volume growth. The increase was driven by the high price increase in cocoa and the inflationary environment, which Barry Callebaut manages through its cost-plus pricing model (which adjusts for higher costs) for the majority of its business.

BC Next Level update

Barry Callebaut launched its strategic investment program, BC Next Level, in September 2023, with the intent to move the company closer to customers and markets and to simplify and digitalize the front and back ends of its business.

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This plan positions the Group for sustainable profitable growth and allows for a more attractive financial profile in the medium-term by elevating the profitability level and improving the cash flow. The implementation of the program is progressing as planned with a majority of the measures already initiated.

The revised leadership structure has been implemented, transitioning from three to five chocolate regions with more than 25 country clusters. All country general managers have been appointed, solidifying Barry Callebaut’s strong local leadership team. The stock-keeping unit (SKU) rationalization is well underway, a step that will enhance operational efficiency and optimize the product assortment, ultimately benefiting the customers.

The Group continues to prioritize investments in quality to further strengthen customer relationships. A more detailed update on the progress of BC Next Level will be shared in April with the HY 2023/24 results.

Barry Callebaut: Refinancing measures

With the recent weaker-than-expected cocoa bean harvest data from West Africa, the cocoa price development continues to remain uncertain. The Group foresees an industry wide impact on working capital requirements.

Thanks to the strength of its balance sheet, Barry Callebaut has already addressed this development with a successful Swiss franc bond issuance of CHF 600 million to refinance the existing EUR 450 million senior bond falling due mid May 2024 and the extension of the Group’s Revolving Credit Facility amount from EUR 900 million to EUR 1,312.5 million. The Group has also implemented a Syndicated Term Loan for an amount of EUR 262.5 million and a tenor of 2 years.

Guidance

Barry Callebaut continues to target FY 2023/24 guidance of flat volume and flat EBIT on a recurring basis including modest BC Next Level benefits.

¹ Source: Nielsen volume growth excluding e-commerce – 26 countries, September 2023 – October/November 2023. Data subject to adjustment to match Barry Callebaut’s reporting period. Nielsen data only partially reflects the out-of-home and impulse consumption.

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