Cadbury Plc reportedly intends to target the UK gum market, a move that some have linked with a rise in Cadbury shares this morning (3 March).

According to an article in the Financial Times, the UK-based confectioner intends to take advantage of opportunities in this market and expand into gum sales.

Andrea Dawson-Shepherd, Cadbury spokesperson, told just-food that the company could not confirm or deny the report, explaining that Cadbury was unwilling to comment on commercial speculation for competitive reasons.

Any move in the UK would pit Cadbury against Wrigley, the clear market leader. However, Cadbury would be well placed to offer strong opposition. "Cadbury has a very strong route to market in the UK," observed Justin Scarborough, an analyst at Panmure Gordon. "The outlook should be reasonably good for them to cut into Wrigley's share."

There have been some reports connecting this eventuality with a rise in Cadbury's share prices. However, both Dawson-Shepherd and Scarborough view any relationship as coincidental.

"I doubt that the two are related," said Dawson-Shepherd. "You need to look at the overall global market. The rise comes on the back of our positive financial results. Todd Stitzer [CEO] and Ken Hanna [chief financial officer] have been in the States conducting a series of investor meetings and seminars - I suspect that there may have been some positive notes issued due to this."