Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has posted a 13% rise in first-half net profit, boosted by its acquisition last year of Germany’s Stollwerck.

Callebaut said net profit was CHF75.9m (US$54.9m), an increase of 20% in local currency terms, reported Reuters.

Earnings before interest and tax, or operating income, increased 25% to CHF130.4m. Sales rose 44% to CHF1.9bn, while sales volumes rose 17% to 480,497 tons.

“Despite generally flat or even declining markets and the depressed consumer mood, we were able to enhance our leadership position in chocolate for industrial customers as well as for artisanal users with market shares of 39% and 35% respectively,” chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire said in a statement.

“The current prevailing political and economic uncertainties make forecasts very difficult. Having said this, barring any major unforeseen event, I am confident that we will be able to exceed the CHF200m EBIT threshold for full fiscal year 2002/03,” he added.

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