Sales up at Ritter, although "profit situation remains strained", its CEO said.

Sales up at Ritter, although "profit situation remains strained", its CEO said.

German confectioner Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. has reported a 9% increase in full-year sales thanks to improving volumes.

The family-owned company, which produces the Ritter Sport chocolate brand, posted turnover of "around" EUR380m in 2013.

The group did not provide earnings figures, although co-owner and CEO Alfred Ritter said the company's "profit situation remains strained" after further increases in raw material prices. 

However, Ritter said higher volumes helped it grow its share of the "key" 100g chocolate bar segment in Germany. Citing data from IRI, Ritter said it accounted for 23.1% of sales in the segment in 2013, up from 2012 last year.

International sales also accounted for an increasing share of Ritter's turnover last year. Ritter generated 38% of its sales outside Germany in 2013, compared to 36% a year earlier.

"'We are also focusing on Europe, in particular the Benelux countries, Austria, France and the UK," Olaf Wilcke, director of Ritter's international business, said. At the start of this year, Ritter opened a sales arm in Italy.

Mr Ritter added: "Considering the generally tough competitive environment, particularly on the German market, we are extremely delighted with the continued positive development over the past several years."