Confectioner Cloetta has reported a rise in earnings for the third quarter, despite lower sales in the period. 

The Swedish group’s operating profit rose to SEK216m (US$24.26m), versus SEK212m in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, operating profit increased to SEK224m from SEK194m. 

“The improvement in operating profit, adjusted for items affecting comparability, was driven by increased efficiency in the supply chain and good cost control. The gradual improvement that Cloetta has shown over the past few quarters has thus continued,” interim president and CEO Danko Maras said. 

Net sales for the quarter, however, decreased by 0.8% to SEK1.45bn. This reflected the negative impact of foreign exchange rates of 0.1%. Organic sales fell 0.7%. 

“The downturn in sales is mainly attributable to a weak sales development in the Netherlands and the UK. Cloetta’s sales were up in Sweden, Finland, Italy, Norway and the export markets. In the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Denmark, and in contract manufacturing, sales declined… The reported drop in sales in the UK is partly attributable to a severely-weakened British pound, and in the Netherlands it is mainly attributable to a decline in special products sold to discounters,” Maras commented. 

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