Lindt & Spruengli Expects 5 To 7% Growth This Year

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli said on Tuesday it expected organic sales to grow 5-7% this year, in line with mid-term targets, as it works to improve the performance in its North American unit.

Chocolate makers are grappling with saturated European and US markets and a trend towards healthier snacking, but Lindt is growing faster than peers as it taps new markets in Asia and Africa and expands its own retail network.

It is, however, taking more time to turn around its Russell Stover business it had bought to boost its position in the United States, and had to trim its mid-term guidance to 5-7% organic sales growth in January when it released 2018 sales figures.

The maker of Lindor chocolate balls said it had made substantial investments in North America “to lay the foundation for profitable sales growth”, but did not say whether it expected improvements starting this year.

Net profit rose 7.6 percent to 487.1 million Swiss francs ($487 million) in 2018, in line with expectations in an Infront Data poll, the company known for its gold foil-wrapped Easter bunnies said in a statement.