Lindt & Sprüngli said that strong international sales helped organic sales grow by 8.4% last year, with the Swiss chocolate maker backing its sales growth forecast for this year, despite expecting inflation to pose a challenge.
Overall sales rose to CHF 4.97 billion (€4.97 billion) in 2022, the maker of Lindor balls and gold foil-wrapped Easter bunnies said in a statement.
That was slightly ahead of a CHF 4.96 billion consensus estimate by analysts.
Despite strong growth in North America and countries grouped in 'Rest of the World,' consumer sentiment dampened in key markets, while sales in Europe fell slightly to CHF 2.30 billion from CHF 2.33 billion due to currency effects, Lindt said.
In Europe, Germany, France, the UK and Italy remain the most important markets for the business, reporting 'good growth from a high sales base', the company added.
It said it was 'confident' of achieving an operating margin of 15% for 2022.
The chocolate maker expects a challenging 2023 due to the inflationary environment, but maintained its sales growth target of 6% to 8%, and an increased operating profit margin of 20 to 40 basis points.
Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox said Lindt tends to be more affected by recessions than its peers.
"In the premium segment, Lindt could suffer more than other players, at least in the early stages of recession when retailers tend to cut back on more expensive products," he said.
Lindt's full results are due to be published on March 7.
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