Halloren forecasts further growth in exports

Halloren forecasts further growth in exports

German confectioner Halloren has reported higher earnings for 2013 as "record" sales - boosted by exports - helped offset pressure from competition and raw material prices.

Halloren booked net profit of EUR2.2m (US$3m), up from EUR2.1m a year earlier. EBIT jumped 43% to EUR4.4m.

The improved earnings came on the back of a leap in export revenues, in part bolstered by Halloren's acquisition of 50% of Belgian private-label chocolate manufacturer Bouchard Daskalidès last year.

Export sales were up 67.2% at EUR60.6m. Overall net sales increased 31.2% to EUR121.9m.

CEO Klaus Lellé said 2013 had been "as difficult for the confectionery industry as 2012".

"Fierce price competition in food retailing was in place at the same time as commodity price increases, especially for cocoa, milk powder and butter, continued. However, in this difficult economic environment, we succeeded in keeping Halloren on course for growth."

Halloren expects sales to continue to grow in 2014 and for profits to be "at least" in line with 2013.