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Cadbury Q1 confectionery sales rise 7pc

London, April 11, 2008

Cadbury Schweppes, the world's biggest confectionery group, which plans to spin-off its North American soft drinks unit next month said on Friday it sweets business had seen a strong start to the year.

The British group which makes Dairy Milk chocolate, Trident gum and Halls cough drops said its sales at its confectionery business grew 7 per cent in the first-quarter of 2008, while its North American beverage unit saw growth of 3 percent.

'We have had a strong start to the year in confectionery, with revenues in the first quarter driven by excellent performances from our gum and emerging market businesses and higher pricing to recover increased commodity costs,' Chief Executive Todd Stitzer said in a statement.

In Britain, confectionery sales grew just 3 percent, and though Cadbury said it was pleased with Easter trading, its decision to limit aggressive discounting hit its market share.

The group added it was confirming its previous 2008 guidance for revenue growth at the two businesses and said the demerger process for its North American drinks unit was on track.

Cadbury held to previous guidance that it expects confectionery sales to grow at the upper end of its 4-6 percent target range in 2008 after a 7 percent rise in 2007 and expects 'meaningful' operating margin progress in 2008 from 2007's 9.8 percent towards its mid-teens percentage target by 2011.-Reuters




Tags: confectionery | cadbury | Sale | jump |

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