Comfort eating of chocolates, in recession time, has driven sales of Birmingham-based chocolate giant Cadbury by seven per cent in India, Britain and South Africa even though its sales in North America and Europe have fallen.
Latest company figures show that Cadbury’s Britain and Ireland divisions have seen a rise of ten per cent as a strong Easter helped it grow its UK market share. Eggs were up 20 per cent over the period.
Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer is confident enough to stick to his 2009 sales and margin targets for the rest of the year.
“We sell affordable treats, and in difficult times with a growing stay-at-home culture, it puts us in the sweet spot of what the consumer wants,” he said.
Cadbury said it still expected revenue growth for the full year to be around the lower end of its targeted 4 per cent to 6 per cent range.
The picture was very different to that of Europe and North America, which saw falls of eight per cent and six per cent respectively amid falling consumer demand.
Chocolate, which made up 48 per cent of the company’s revenues in the quarter, grew seven per cent following strong performances in the UK, India and South Africa.
De-stocking in the US was blamed for a “significant impact” on gum revenues, along with weak demand in Europe.
Cadbury says its operating margins had improved, helped by the implementation of cost savings in its business plan.