Barry Callebaut sales volumes fall 5% during its first quarter

ZURICH, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Barry Callebaut (BARN.S) sales volumes fell 5.1% in the three months to the end of November, the world’s largest chocolate maker said on Wednesday, as it was hit by lower output at its biggest factory.

Volumes fell to 579,000 tonnes from 610,000 tonnes a year earlier, said the company whose products are used by food makers including Nestle (NESN.S) and Unilever .

Volumes fell as the Swiss company started ramping up production again at its Wieze factory in Belgium, which was hit by a health scare last year.

Sales revenue increased by 3.8% to 2.1 billion Swiss francs ($2.28 billion), as the company passed on raw material price increases the company said. In local currencies revenues increased by 7.2%.

“With Wieze fully operational since end of October and against a strong comparator, we had, as expected, a slow start to the year,” said Chief Executive Peter Boone in a statement.

“In markets where Gourmet products were widely available, we continued to win. We are committed to achieve our current 3-year mid-term guidance in this final year, based on our broad product portfolio and broad geographic and customer base.”

($1 = 0.9229 Swiss francs)

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Noele Illien
Editing by Paul Carrel

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