Net profit for the year to August 2004 rose by 12 per cent to CHF 115.6 million (€89m), on sales revenues that for the first time surpassed the CHF 4 billion (€2.6bn) barrier.
"Our organic volume growth of 4.4 per cent strongly compared to the world market growth of 1 per cent," said the Swiss firm in a statement today.
A fully integrated chocolate company - from bean to retailer - Barry Callebaut is divided into two principal business segments - industrial (cocoa and food manufacturers) and food service/food retail.
For the industrial segment operating profit jumped by 22.7 per cent to CHF 175.2 million, with a sizeable contribution coming from cocoa activities that gained from currency developments.
Early in 2003 the Swiss firm acquired US group Brach's for €14.5m in a bid to strengthen its position in the consumer segment and to open up opportunities in the world's largest confectionery market. The company confirmed today in a conference call that profits benefited from the 'first time consolidation of the 2003 acquisitions Luijckx and Brach's'.
Brach's is one of America's leading confectionery manufacturers with sales of approximately $340 million in 2002. The company is best known for its StarBrites Mints, Milk Maid Caramels and Maple Nut Goodies.
Barry Callebaut has traditionally been a producer of cocoa products and ingredients, but the acquisition of Stollwerck in 2002 gave it a major presence in the consumer sector for the first time. The Brach's and Luijckx deal in September this year increased the firm's presence in the sector.
Cocoa prices have sharply risen in London this week driven by fears that instability in Ivory Coast, the world's biggest producer and providing some 40 per cent of global supplies, will affect movement of supplies at the current harvest time.
Cocoa prices on the London futures market closed at £993 a tonne on Monday after peaking at a high of £1019, a rise of over 7 per cent on 5 November closing.