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(Bloomberg) -- Barry Callebaut AG, the largest maker of bulk chocolate, reported first-quarter sales that beat analyst estimates as western European demand resumed growth.
Revenue rose 15 percent to 1.74 billion Swiss francs ($2 billion) in the three months through November, the Zurich-based company said today in a statement. Analysts expected 1.63 billion francs, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Barry Callebaut maintained its volume and profitability forecasts, excluding currency shifts.
The company said 99 percent of its business occurs outside Switzerland and thus its operational exposure to the franc’s movements is limited, following the Swiss National Bank’s surprise decision last week to end an exchange-rate limit that has led the currency to strengthen.
“Despite the current volatile currency environment, the fundamentals of our company are not affected,” Chief Executive Officer Juergen Steinemann said in the statement. “Subject to currency translation impacts, we confirm our mid-term targets.”
The goals, excluding exchange-rate effects, include 6 percent to 8 percent average annual volume growth and a return of profitability per metric ton to the level of before the July 2013 acquisition of the Petra Foods cocoa unit.
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