UK confectionery and soft drinks group Cadbury Schweppes Plc said today [Wednesday] that profits rose 12% in 2001.

The group reported improved volume sales at its confectionery units around the world. European confectionery reported trading profit up 6%, although the UK division Cadbury Trevor Bassett got off to a slow start following the integration of the chocolate and sugar confectionery units.

CEO John Sunderland said in a press statement: "Confectionery performance overall was encouraging. The majority of our businesses showed good financial and volume growth. Especially good results came from Australia (volume up 6%), France, China, Poland and Russia where we expect our business to be profitable this year. In the UK and Canada, disruption from the integration of our chocolate and sugar confectionery businesses, combined with difficult trading environments, produced weaker results. However, in both markets we have now created the country's leading confectionery company, wholly committed to brand and channel growth, and strongly positioned for the future. We are also encouraged by the fact that, in the U.K., performance strengthened through the year, with core chocolate volumes growing 2% in the final quarter".

"In confectionery we have broadened our participation beyond chocolate and into sugar and more recently chewing gum. Our range of greenfield projects - Egypt, Poland, Russia and China - are becoming profitable contributors to the business," Sunderland concluded.

Beverage profits rose, mainly on the back of the North American juice unit Mott's and European beverages. The North American beverages business has become vital to the company and now earns around half the group's profits. Volumes climbed 1% in the fourth quarter and 2% during the year, although its Dr Pepper and Seven Up brands saw stiff competition.

"Despite a sluggish carbonates market in the U.S. and the integration programme in Australia, both Dr Pepper/Seven Up and Australian beverages had a good year," Sunderland commented.

The group said it had made a satisfactory start to 2002 and will focus on innovation as a means of accelerating growth. The group reiterated its commitment to its stated financial targets.










+ 21

Underlying Operating Profit* †




+ 18

Underlying Profit Before Tax*




+ 12

Underlying EPS*




+ 16

Dividends per share




+ 5

Source: Cadbury Schweppes

To see the full statement of preliminary results, please click here.