UK confectionery and soft drinks giant Cadbury Schweppes has said that its underlying results for 2003 will be broadly in line with the first half, prior to currency movements.


“We have consistently described 2003 as a transitional year for Cadbury Schweppes as we put in place our new organisational structure, integrated Adams and weathered some challenging trading conditions in a number of our major markets,” said Todd Stitzer, Cadbury Schweppes’ CEO.


Stitzer said that in recent months the company had seen an improvement in performance in a number of its business, notably in its Australian operations and in its Adams business in North America.


He added that Cadbury Trebor Bassett in the UK is having a strong fourth quarter in the run-up to the important Christmas season, with good demand for its seasonal ranges. Demand for the unit’s non-seasonal ranges was also good following the successful relaunch of the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate range.


Cadbury said it is confident about the prospects for 2004, as its ‘Fuel for Growth’ cost reduction programme begins to deliver. Overall in 2004, the company expects to deliver net sales growth of 3-5% and higher profit margins.

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“Although we will see some cost increases, most notably in raw materials, insurance, employee benefits and depreciation, we expect to deliver results within our goal ranges for sales growth and margin increases,” Stitzer said.