Despite an 'economically challenging year' the company said organic sales were up 13.3%, ahead of forecasts, claiming all regions contributed to its full-year performance, with the business gaining market share in all its key markets.
"Despite ongoing pandemic-related restrictions, the global chocolate markets reported overall good growth in 2021," the company said in a statement.
“Once again, Lindt & Sprüngli, the world’s leading chocolate manufacturer in the premium segment, benefited from an above-average increase in demand for products of highest quality and was able to significantly increase sales in all countries and channels.”
In North America, organic sales were up 10.7% to CHF 1.69bn, with the group saying that it grew “faster than the overall market, while also increasing its share.”
Supply chain bottlenecks
However, it expects sales to be slower this year than in 2021 blaming supply chain bottlenecks in major manufacturing facilities such as Russell Stover’s three facilities in the US caused by a lack of labour and materials.
"Labour and materials shortages are largely confined to Russell Stover and have already improved since late autumn 2021. Measures to further improve the situation have been initiated. We are confident that the situation will normalise in the first quarter of 2022," the company added.
In its Europe division, organic sales were 13.8% higher, at CHF 2.33bn, with Germany, Italy, the UK and Switzerland all seeing double-digit growth.
In its Rest of the World division, organic sales grew 19.7%, reaching CHF 0.57bn, with Brazil, China, and Japan reporting “particularly good growth” in the period.
Lindt’s Duty-Free business unsurprisingly remains below pre-pandemic levels, but the company claimed it was showing a “significant recovery” as international travel starts to pick up again.
For the coming financial year, Lindt & Sprüngli said that it expects to achieve growth in line with its medium- to long-term target of between 5% and 7%, along with an operating margin of "around 14%" when it releases full results on 8 March.