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Chocolate maker in profit but future stays dark

Barry Callebaut, the world's largest chocolate maker, has posted a 10.4 per cent rise in net profit for year-end fiscal results, but forecast lower growth into 2012.

The Zurich-based group reported SFr227 million ($225 million) net profit in results published on Thursday for the fiscal year ending August 31.

The group said the current "challenging and volatile" economic environment was set to continue. It has therefore lowered its growth forecast by three per cent to six to eight per cent for 2012.

It said, however, that the new targets still meant that the group would outperform the global chocolate market, which declined by two per cent this year.

Barry Callebaut is a supplier of cocoa and chocolate products for companies such as Nestlé and Cadbury. and agencies