John Sunderland, CEO of UK confectionery and soft drinks giant Cadbury Schweppes, took to the stand at the company’s AGM yesterday [Monday] to review the company’s results for 2001 and comment on its outlook for 2002.

Sunderland said, “The first four months’ trading of 2002 have been satisfactory and we remain confident of achieving our financial targets for the full year.

“North American beverage volumes rose 6% during the Q1 2002, or 2% net of acquisitions. Our non-carbonated soft drinks portfolio overall continued to grow strongly. Brand transfers and refranchising in our carbonated soft drinks (CSD) business led to some softness; excluding this impact, CSD volumes were slightly ahead during the quarter.

“Confectionery volume growth has been encouraging in the majority of our markets. In the UK, Cadbury Trebor Bassett had a good start to the year, continuing the stronger performance seen toward the end of 2001.

In conclusion, Sunderland said, “In addition to a sound start to 2002, we have also made a number of acquisitions designed to further strengthen our business. These include a 51% interest in Kent, Turkey’s leading sugar confectionery manufacturer, the Squirt brand in Mexico and Nantucket Nectars in the US.”