UK confectionery and soft drinks giant Cadbury Schweppes has said it is on track to meet its 2004 goals but would report financial results towards the lower end of its forecasts.

"We have made good progress in 2004 with momentum in key areas of the business driven by strong performance of core brands and cost savings from our Fuel for Growth initiative," said Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes

Cadbury said its confectionery businesses around the world are performing strongly, driven by core brands - Cadbury, Halls, Hollywood and Trident - and innovation.

"Our expectations for the year are unchanged. We expect to deliver financial results within our goal ranges but toward the lower end. In 2005, we will continue to invest to ensure that the group has a solid base for long-term growth and expect to deliver results within our goal ranges," the company said.

The company's Americas Confectionery unit showed continued strong momentum in the second half, with all the main markets performing well.

In the Europe, Middle East and Africa region a stronger performance was driven by core brands, notably Cadbury, Hollywood and Halls, and innovation. Market shares in nearly all key markets are being maintained or have grown in the year to date. The company said it has seen some improvement in Ireland in recent months, although the market remains difficult.