Barry Callebaut offered the market some cheer today (25 June) by suggesting that it was seeing positive momentum in its sales growth in what it described as “recessionary markets”. However, sales values were hit by foreign exchange issues.

The cocoa and chocolate producer said its key sales figures for its first nine months saw sales volumes up 2.6% to 895,391 tonnes.

“Growth has resumed after reaching a low in November 2008,” the company said.

In the third quarter, Barry Callebaut’s sales volumes significantly accelerated across all regions and businesses and showed an increase of 8.8% – in sharp contrast to the contraction in the global chocolate market.

“Sales volume growth was driven by several factors: a late Easter; the need of food manufacturers, artisans and retailers to restock; the dynamic development of new markets; and the ongoing implementation of outsourcing contracts,” the company said.

In the period under review, sales revenue in local currencies grew 6.3%, driven by higher sales volumes and higher cocoa bean prices.

However, sales revenue was impacted by continued unfavourable currency translation effects. In the group’s reporting currency, Swiss franc, sales revenue went up by 0.9% to CHF3,639.6m (US$3,327.9m).