The Barry Callebaut Group saw its good growth momentum of the first six months impacted by Covid-19 with volumes declining in the third quarter (ended May 31, 2020) by 14.3%.
This led to an overall decline in the Group’s sales volume of 1.3% to 1.569 m tonnes in the first nine months of fiscal year 2019/20. Sales volume in the chocolate business declined by 14.1% in the third quarter, leading to a slight decline of 1.4% for the first nine months. The underlying global chocolate confectionery market in the first nine months was flat (0.0%; source: Nielsen volume growth excluding e-commerce, September 2019 to April 2020 – 25 countries, data subject to adjustment to match Barry Callebaut’s reporting period; Nielsen data only partially reflects the out-of-home and impulse consumption, which was heavily impacted by the lockdowns due to Covid-19). Global Cocoa volumes were down 14.6% in the third quarter and about flat for the nine-month period under review (- 0.7%). Sales revenue in the first nine months amounted to CHF 5.2 bn, an increase of 0.4% in local currencies (- 4.4% in CHF).
In June the Group saw a gradual sales volume recovery, as governments started to lift their Covid-19 measures. These early signs of recovery are visible both in Food Manufacturers and Gourmet & Specialties, albeit at a different pace.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, said: “As anticipated in April, Covid-19 lockdowns across the globe impacted our sales volume in the third quarter, and herewith the good momentum of the first six months of fiscal year 2019/20. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the precautionary measures we put in place early on allowed us to preserve business continuity and maintain a high service level for our customers worldwide, whilst protecting the health of our employees and the communities we operate in. We expect to emerge from the crisis with even closer relationships with our customers and suppliers, with fresh insights into innovative ways of doing business and a solid financial basis.”