The Barry Callebaut Group reported sales volume of 578,694 tonnes during the first three months of the fiscal year 2022/23 (ended on November 30, 2022). Volume was down -5.1%, in an overall declining market according to Nielsen (-2.8%)3. The chocolate business was down by -5.8%, due to residual effects from the Wieze ramp-up and against a particularly strong comparator of +9.6% in the same quarter in prior year. This affected all Regions, in particular EMEA (-8.5%). The Group's Key Growth Drivers Emerging Markets (-3.8%), Outsourcing (-0.1%) and Gourmet & Specialties (-11.2%) had a slow start. Excluding the delayed impact due to the Wieze ramp-up, Gourmet & Specialties volume would have been flat against a record high comparator (+33.8%).

Sales revenue amounted to CHF 2,110.3 million, an increase of +7.2% in local currencies (+3.8% in CHF), clearly higher than volume growth. The increase was driven by higher raw material prices and the inflationary environment, which Barry Callebaut manages through its cost-plus pricing model for the majority of its business, and positive mix components.

"With Wieze fully operational since end of October and against a strong comparator, we had, as expected, a slow start to the year. In markets where Gourmet products were widely available, we continued to win. We are committed to achieve our current 3-year mid-term guidance in this final year, based on our broad product portfolio and broad geographic and customer base," says Peter Boone, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group.

Looking ahead, Boone says: "We expect a more back-end loaded year with improvements in the coming quarters as the Wieze factory is fully back on stream and Gourmet products are more widely available. Our consistent long-term growth strategy and its successful execution give us the confidence to issue a new 3-year mid-term guidance for 2023/24 to 2025/26 focusing on accelerated value creation. The new guidance consists of on average +4-6% volume growth and +8-10% EBIT growth in local currencies, with further ROIC improvement."

Read the full report on Barry Callebaut's website.