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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Swiss Exchange  >  Barry Callebaut    BARN   CH0009002962

BARRY CALLEBAUT

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Barry Callebaut sees gourmet tastes lifting chocolate demand

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01/15/2014 | 05:36am EST
To match Insight CHOCOLATE/CHANGES

ZURICH (Reuters) - Demand for chocolate is picking up, boosted by strong sales of gourmet products, the world's biggest supplier to the industry said on Wednesday, as it blamed capacity constraints and a lull in outsourcing deals for slower growth in its sales volumes.

Barry Callebaut (>> Barry Callebaut AG), which makes chocolate for the likes of Nestle (>> Nestle SA) and Mondelez (>> Mondelez International Inc), said on Wednesday consumers in the Americas in particular were flocking to premium chocolates.

That echoed comments from Swiss chocolate-maker Lindt & Spruengli (>> Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli AG), which beat full-year sales forecasts on Tuesday.

Consumer trends consultant Nielsen has said the global chocolate market grew 3.4 percent in volume from September to November, accelerating from 1.1 percent in the same period the year before, as economies recover in Europe and North America.

Barry Callebaut, the world's largest maker of chocolate and cocoa products, said its sales jumped 21.4 percent by value in the quarter - the first of its financial year - to 1.52 billion Swiss francs ($1.7 billion), beating forecasts and helped by higher prices for cocoa beans, cocoa butter and milk powder.

However, its sales volumes rose 19.5 percent, below the 21.1 percent forecast by analysts, and excluding the Petra Foods business it bought in December 2012, volumes were up just 4.6 percent, down from 8.3 percent the same time the year before.

The Swiss-based company blamed the slowdown on a tough year-on-year comparison, as well as fewer new deals to make chocolate for third parties. Bottlenecks in western Europe also weighed on growth in the region, though it said these were being addressed.

J. Safra Sarasin analyst Patrick Hasenboehler said the company's volume growth was "slightly disappointing" and kept a "reduce" rating on the stock, citing a stretched valuation.

But Vontobel's Jean-Philippe Bertschy said the slower volume growth reflected a drive by management to focus on higher-margin businesses.

Shares in Barry Callebaut, up almost 30 percent since the end of August, trade at 20.5 times forecast earnings, above Nestle's 18.6 times, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The stock was down 1.0 percent to 1,106 francs by 1015 GMT, underperforming Europe's food and beverages index <.SX3P>.

OUTSOURCING DEALS

Outsourcing, such as a 2012 deal with Unilever (>> Unilever plc) (>> UNILEVER) to supply chocolate for ice creams such as Magnum, has helped Barry Callebaut to outpace generally sluggish growth in the global chocolate market in recent years.

Some analysts have suggested that growth from outsourcing agreements may start to slow.

However, Chief Executive Juergen Steinemann said the company had a "full pipeline" of outsourcing deals.

The company confirmed its mid-term forecast for 6-8 percent volume growth on average.

Barry Callebaut saw quarterly volumes rise 1.5 percent in Europe, 10.3 percent in the Americas and 7.4 percent in the Asia-Pacific. Its cocoa unit performed particularly strongly with sales volumes up 91 percent driven by the Petra Foods deal.

($1 = 0.9008 Swiss francs)

(Editing by Mark Potter)

By Caroline Copley

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BARRY CALLEBAUT 1.73% 2000 Delayed Quote.28.41%
CHOCOLADEFABRIKEN LINDT & SPRÜNGLI AG -0.27% 7360 Delayed Quote.20.98%
CLASS III MILK FUTURES (DC) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.05% 20.25 End-of-day quote.46.42%
CLASS IV MILK?FUTURES (GDK) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 -0.18% 16.7 End-of-day quote.10.52%
DRY WHEY?FUTURES (DY) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 1.33% 30.4 End-of-day quote.-35.32%
MONDELEZ INTERNATIONAL 0.80% 53.245 Delayed Quote.31.95%
NESTLÉ S.A. 0.25% 104.32 Delayed Quote.30.40%
NEW YORK COCOA 0.00% 2766 End-of-day quote.14.34%
NONFAT DRY MILK FUTURES (GNF) - CMG (ELECTRONIC)/C1 0.07% 115.075 End-of-day quote.26.80%
UNILEVER PLC -0.02% 4567 Delayed Quote.11.18%
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Financials (CHF)
Sales 2020 7 736 M
EBIT 2020 642 M
Net income 2020 437 M
Debt 2020 1 156 M
Yield 2020 1,49%
P/E ratio 2020 24,6x
P/E ratio 2021 23,2x
EV / Sales2020 1,54x
EV / Sales2021 1,44x
Capitalization 10 769 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 11
Average target price 2 090,00  CHF
Last Close Price 1 966,00  CHF
Spread / Highest target 22,1%
Spread / Average Target 6,31%
Spread / Lowest Target -19,1%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Antoine Bernard de Saint-Affrique Chief Executive Officer
Patrick de Maeseneire Chairman
Dirk Poelman Chief Operations Officer
Remco J. Steenbergen Chief Financial Officer
Steven Vandamme Chief Information Officer
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