The Barry Callebaut Group saw its sales volume decline by 2.0% to 2.096 m tonnes in fiscal year 2019/20 (ended August 31, 2020), as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
After a 14.3% decline in the third quarter at the height of the pandemic, sales volume showed – as anticipated – a recovery in the fourth quarter (- 4.3%). According to the company, sales volume in the chocolate business declined by 2.1% in the fiscal year under review. The underlying global chocolate confectionery market was down 0.3% in the year under review (source: Nielsen; volume growth excluding e-commerce, September 2019 - August 2020 – 25 countries; Nielsen data only partially reflects the out-of-home and impulse consumption, which was heavily impacted by the lockdowns due to Covid-19). Sales volume in Global Cocoa was down 2.0%. Sales revenue declined by 0.4% in local currencies (- 5.7% in CHF) to CHF 6.893 bn.
Gross profit amounted to CHF 1.064 bn, a decline of 6.8% in local currencies (- 11.3% in CHF) compared to prior year (note: prior-year comparatives have been calculated on a pro-forma basis to reflect the estimated impact of IFRS 16 had it been adopted at the time). The volume decline in the second half of the year due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, particularly in Gourmet & Specialties, had an adverse impact on the product mix.
Operating profit (EBIT) recurring (note: operating profit EBIT recurring and net profit recurring exclude the cost of CHF 7.8 m for the closure of the cocoa factory in Makassar, Indonesia) amounted to CHF 491.0 m, a decrease of 13.8% in local currencies (- 18.5% in CHF), compared to prior year. Currencies had a strong negative translation effect (- CHF 29 m). As announced with the half-year results, the closure of the cocoa factory in Makassar, Indonesia, had a negative impact. As a result, the reported EBIT amounted to CHF 483.2 m, down 15.1% in local currencies (- 19.8% in CHF) compared to prior year. The recurring EBIT per tonne amounted to CHF 234 compared to CHF 282 in prior year. Net profit for the year recurring amounted to CHF 319.3 m, down 13.3% in local currencies (- 18.5% in CHF) compared to prior year. The reported net profit for the year amounted to CHF 311.5 m, down 9.4% in local currencies (- 14.8% in CHF) compared to prior year.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, said: “I am proud of the solid set of results and strengthened balance sheet that we managed to deliver in unprecedented times. They are testimony to the strength and resilience of Barry Callebaut, its employees and its culture. Our focus on care, continuity and cash helped us to safeguard the health of our people and communities, to serve our customers well at a time when they need it most, and to enhance the financing of our company.” Looking ahead, he said: “Although markets are still volatile, we will further pursue expansion and drive for new opportunities, thanks to our continued focus on customers and our strong innovation pipeline. This, together with our solid financial basis, supports the confidence in our mid-term guidance.”