Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli raised its sales guidance and unveiled a CHF 1 billion (€1.02 billion) share buyback programme after first-half net profit jumped 36% to CHF 138.4 million.
It said it now expected 2022 organic sales growth of 8-10% with an operating margin of around 15%. It had previous guided for 6-8% growth this year, a target it reaffirmed for the medium to long term.
Growth in the global chocolate market has been sluggish of late, but Lindt & Sprüngli managed to outperform the market because customers are willing to pay more for its upmarket products and the novelties it launches regularly.
The group's organic sales grew 12.3% - or 10.7% in Swiss francs - in the half to CHF 1.99 billion (€2.04 billion), helped by market share gains in all regions, the maker of Lindor chocolate balls said in a statement.
'Positive Growth Trend'
'The positive growth trend of the global chocolate markets progressed unchanged in the first half of 2022,' it said. 'The main drivers were volume growth and price increases in roughly equal measure. The above-average increase of the premium segment continued unabated. Lindt & Sprüngli as leading company in this segment benefitted from this.
'As a result, Lindt & Sprüngli further expanded its market shares in all three geographic segments.'
The buyback programme for registered shares and participation certificates will start on August 2 and last until the end of July 2024 at the latest. It said it intends to cancel the shares it repurchases.
For the coming years, the company said that it was confirming its medium- to long-term organic sales growth target of 6-8% with an improvement in the operating profit margin of 20-40 basis points per year.
Peer Barry Callebaut last week posted a 7.9% rise in sales volumes for the nine months to May, citing strong demand across regions.