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(Bloomberg) -- Lindt & Spruengli AG reported a 17 percent gain in full-year sales, boosted by its acquisition of Russell Stover Candies Inc., which made it the third-biggest chocolate producer in North America.

Revenue rose to 3.39 billion Swiss francs ($3.34 billion) and gained 9.8 percent excluding acquisitions and currency shifts, the Kilchberg, Switzerland-based company said today in a statement. Analysts expected 3.2 billion francs in sales and 8.4 percent organic sales growth, according to analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Russell Stover, the largest U.S. maker of boxed chocolate, will boost the Swiss company’s revenue from North America beyond $1.5 billion in 2015, Lindt said last year. The acquisition of the closely held company, completed in September, propelled Lindt past Nestle SA in the North American chocolate market, with an 8 percent share, according to Euromonitor data.

Lindt has a long-term target for organic sales growth of 6 percent to 8 percent a year. The company forecast an improvement in its earnings margin before interest and taxes of 20 basis points to 40 basis points for 2014, excluding the Russell Stover takeover. Including the acquisition, the Ebit margin is expected to be about the same as for 2013.

In December, a Lindt cafe in Sydney was the scene of a 16- hour siege in which two hostages and the gunman were killed in a shootout. The perpetrator had forced some of 17 hostages to hold a black Islamic flag in the window of the site.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net Kim McLaughlin, Thomas Mulier

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