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    LISN   CH0010570759

LINDT

(LISN)
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Lindt : Consumers' sweet tooth helps Lindt & Spruengli shine

07/27/2021 | 05:44am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Chocolates are displayed during the annual news conference of Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Spruengli in Kilchberg

ZURICH (Reuters) - Strong demand for Lindor and Excellence chocolates boosted sales and profit at Switzerland's Lindt & Spruengli in the first half, allowing it to raise its full-year guidance as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic waned.

The global chocolate confectionery market is still sluggish, but Lindt, whose organic sales dropped 6% last year, is now seeing demand for its upmarket chocolates recover due to continued investment in marketing and new products.

"Group sales have almost returned to their pre-COVID-19 trajectory," Chief Financial Officer Martin Hug told investors on a call on Tuesday.

He said the group had seen "exceptional growth" of 17.4% in the first half and gained market share in all its regions, with just its own stores and travel retail still below pre-pandemic levels.

Hug said growth would slow in the second half due to tougher comparisons, but was expected to be in the "lower double-digit range" for the full year, above previous guidance for 6-8% growth.

"We have benefited a lot from in-home consumption, now people will go out more," Hug said.

The group's participation certificates were up 3% at 0912 GMT, making it the best performer in a 0.6% weaker European food sector index.

Analysts at Vontobel and Kepler Cheuvreux called the results "mind-blowing" and "out of this world strong".

Net profit hit a record for Lindt's traditionally weaker first half at 101.6 million Swiss francs ($110.9 million), fivefold the amount recorded in the year-ago period and almost twice as much as expected in a Refinitiv poll.

The Zurich-based company expects an operating margin "at the upper end of 13%-14%" this year in spite of higher packaging and staffing costs, Hug said.

Lindt confirmed its medium-term target of 5%-7% organic growth and an operating margin of 15% from 2022 onwards. It said its share buyback programme of up to 750 million francs was on track and set a goal to make all its packaging recyclable by 2025.

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Kirsti Knolle, Sherry Jacob-Phillips & Simon Cameron-Moore)

By Silke Koltrowitz


ę Reuters 2021
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Analyst Recommendations on LINDT
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Financials
Sales 2021 4 549 M 4 926 M 4 926 M
Net income 2021 483 M 523 M 523 M
Net Debt 2021 271 M 294 M 294 M
P/E ratio 2021 57,0x
Yield 2021 1,04%
Capitalization 27 199 M 29 452 M 29 453 M
EV / Sales 2021 6,04x
EV / Sales 2022 5,73x
Nbr of Employees 13 500
Free-Float 86,5%
Chart LINDT
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Technical analysis trends LINDT
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TrendsNeutralBullishBullish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 8
Last Close Price 113 800,00 CHF
Average target price 105 042,86 CHF
Spread / Average Target -7,70%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
Dieter R. Weisskopf Chief Executive Officer
Martin Hug Chief Financial Officer
Ernst Tanner Executive Chairman
Guido Steiner Head-Group Operations
Rudolf Konrad SprŘngli Independent Non-Executive Director
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