In the first 9 months of fiscal year 2015-16 (ended May 31, 2016), the Barry Callebaut Group – the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products – grew its sales volume by 4.2 percent to 1,376,650 tonnes. The company accomplished this growth in a global confectionery market that decreased by 2 percent.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, said: “Our sales volume continued its strong growth in the third quarter of the current fiscal year. Our chocolate business performed particularly well, despite still sluggish demand for chocolate confectionery. At the same time, we continued to phase out less profitable contracts in the cocoa business. All our key growth drivers contributed to the good volume momentum.”

In Region Americas, sales volume increased by 9.9 percent to 373,580 tonnes in the period under review, significantly above the market, which decreased by 3.3 percent. Volume growth was fueled by all countries and business segments with remarkably strong results in national accounts and the gourmet & specialties business in North America.

Barry Callebaut achieved very strong volume growth in its chocolate business across all regions, fueled by the company’s key growth drivers outsourcing, emerging markets and gourmet & specialties. Both the food manufacturers (+8.3 percent) and the gourmet & specialties businesses (+11.4 percent) delivered solid contributions.

In the global cocoa business, sales to third parties were intentionally reduced by phasing out less profitable contracts, leading to a 7.8 percent decrease in the sales volume. Sales revenue increased by 11.4 percent in local currencies, driven by a favorable product and customer mix and higher ingredient prices compared to last year.

Looking ahead, CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique, said: “As anticipated at the beginning of the fiscal year, the market conditions remain challenging in the short-term. In that context, we will continue to reduce sales of cocoa products to third parties by phasing out less profitable cocoa agreements, which is impacting short-term growth. Overall, and looking into the next fiscal year, we have a healthy portfolio. Based on the disciplined focus on our ‘smart growth’ approach, i.e. a balance between volume growth, enhanced profitability and free cash flow generation, we confirm our mid-term guidance.”