Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has reported a rise in net profit for the half ended 28 February 2005, despite a fall in the value of sales.

Sales revenue was down 1.5% at 2.166bn Swiss Francs (US$1.81bn), although volume was up 6.4%at 561,033 tonnes. Net profit was up 21.2% at 101.3m francs.

The rise in volume of sales was offset by lower cocoa bean prices and negative exchange rate effects the company said.

“Our traditional businesses with industrial and artisanal customers continue to be solid drivers of growth,” said Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of Barry Callebaut.

“We are very pleased with Barry Callebaut’s organic volume growth of more than twice the global chocolate markets,” he said. “In the remainder of the current fiscal year we will continue to put special emphasis on the turnaround of our European consumer business. This is of particular importance because we haven’t achieved cost leadership yet and the negative economic forecasts for Germany present a threat to the progress made so far.”