Cadbury is aiming to expand through organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions, apparently ruling out a potential merger with US confectionery giant Hershey.

"We are very much focused on organic growth, and this has two arms: leveraging gum in developed markets and growth in emerging markets, where we have a leading position," a spokesperson for Cadbury told just-food.

"Obviously there are opportunities for bolt-on acquisitions to speed this process," the spokesperson added.

Cadbury has a EUR316m (US$496m) war-chest that will be used to further its strategy of targeted acquisitions in emerging markets over the next 15 months.

According to Cadbury's spokesperson, the 2002 acquisition of Adams was "transformational" as it gave the company a "total confectionery offering".

Rather than considering any large deals to give it more clout in the US, Cadbury is focusing on developing its gum offering.