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DGAP-Adhoc: Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG: Financial year 2013

DGAP-Adhoc: Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG: Financial year 2013

Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG  / Key word(s): Final Results

11.03.2014 07:00

Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 KR
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PRESS RELEASE

Financial year 2013

- Lindt & Sprüngli Group continues to grow faster than the chocolate
markets as a whole and wins new market shares

- Sales growth of 8.0% in CHF terms to CHF 2.883 billion, organic growth of
8.6%

- Operating profit up 22.4%(*) at CHF 404.1 million (EBIT margin:
14.0%(**))

- Net profit 23.7%(*) higher at CHF 303.0 (return on sales: 10.5%(**))

- Proposal for a dividend increase of 13% 

- Confirmation of long-term growth and earnings targets

(*) Previous year's figures restated according to IAS 19 (revised)
"Employee Benefits"
(**) Before restatement: increase of EBIT margin: +40 basis points /
increase of net income margin: +30 basis points



Kilchberg, March 11, 2014, - With an above market average increase of sales
and earnings, Lindt & Sprüngli reported a successful financial year 2013 in
every respect in what continues to be a challenging market environment, and
won additional market shares. The good annual financial statement once
again highlights the reliability of the Group's long-term strategic goals.
The Group's above average growth is based mainly on higher volumes in key
markets and on progressive geographical expansion; here, the Global Retail
division is an increasingly important sales factor with its own sales
network. All the subsidiary companies contributed to the good results.

The prevailing economic conditions differed from one country to another.
While a few countries reported a slight recovery, the economy in Southern
Europe remained depressed with an adverse impact on consumer sentiment.
Against this challenging background, Lindt & Sprüngli achieved Group sales
of CHF 2.883 billion in the past financial year. In local currency terms,
this is equivalent to organic growth of 8.6%, well above the market
average. The long-term strategic growth target of 6 to 8% was therefore
slightly exceeded. Although the value of the EUR rose somewhat in 2013,
sales growth in CHF terms was slightly lower with a gain of 8.0% because of
the weaker exchange rates of a number of other currencies such as the USD,
CAD, AUD and GBP.

As a consequence of the good sales performance which was supported by all
the subsidiaries and is based mainly on higher volumes, additional market
shares were gained in all the key markets and also in the new emerging
regions where LINDT is continuing to pursue its geographical expansion. A
large number of innovative new launches and increased marketing activities
further accelerated the sales dynamics in the year-round business and also
in the seasonal range. The share of Group sales accounted for by the Global
Retail Division with some 200 own outlets, boutiques and LINDT Chocolate
Cafés is growing steadily and reached around 9% in 2013. Own distribution
concepts are vitally important, especially in gaining access to new markets
with no strong chocolate tradition, in order to establish the premium brand
values of LINDT and enhance familiarity with the brand.


IAS 19 (revised) "Employee Benefits" was applied for the first time when
preparing the 2013 financial statements. The previous year's comparatives
of the balance sheet and the income statement have been restated
accordingly. The operating profit (EBIT) was 22.4% higher at CHF 404.1
million (previous year: 330.1 million). The EBIT margin improved to 14.0%
in the year 2013. With a return on sales of 10.5%, the net profit stood at
CHF 303.0 (previous year: 244.9 million), in other words 23.7% above the
previous year's figure. The operating cash flow rose to CHF 419.1 million
(previous year: CHF 381.2 million).

The rapid growth in Europe and North America and the access to new markets
call for clear strategic objectives and a structured action plan which also
makes includes the expansion and optimization of production performance.
Investments made in 2013 accordingly stood at CHF 191.4 million (previous
year: CHF 144.6 million) and concentrated mainly on the constant extension
of production capacities and quality optimization through new technologies
and processes.

The balance sheet and capital structure are extremely sound. The equity
ratio and net liquidity stood at 67.9% (previous year: 64.2%) at the end of
2013 and CHF 723 million (previous year: CHF 543 million). The new share
buyback program initiated in fall 2013 for a maximum of 5% of the
registered share and participation capital will be completed by the end of
2014. As of December 31, 2013, no registered shares and 1,682 participation
certificates had been bought back. The total volume of these purchases
stood at CHF 6.5 million.

Outlook for 2014
The Group Management is assuming that the economic situation will continue
to recover somewhat, if only slowly, in the year 2014. However, high raw
material prices and the volatile trend of the exchange rates of important
foreign currencies will continue to present major challenges. What is more,
sustained competition in the retail trade is placing ever-increasing
pressure on prices to which the weaker brands in particular are
increasingly exposed. Thanks to continuous investments in the brand and in
the markets, Lindt & Sprüngli is perfectly equipped to master these
challenges and to attain its long-term strategic goals again in the
financial year 2014.


Key figures for the Group  

                                             2013    2012(1)      Change

Sales in CHF                 CHF million  2,882.5   2,669.5         8.0%
Organic growth (in local                                          
currencies)                        %                                8.6%
Operating profit (EBIT)      CHF million    404.1     330.1        22.4%
-as % of sales (EBIT margin)       %         14.0      12.4
Net income                   CHF million    303.0     244.9        23.7%
-as % of sales (return on sales)   %         10.5       9.2
Operating Cash Flow          CHF million    419.1     381.2         9.9%
-as % of sales                     %         14.5      14.3
Shareholders' equity as of   CHF million  2,634.7   1,694.4        55.5%
31 December
-as % of total assets              %         67.9      64.2
Average number of employees               8,949     8,157           9.7%
-sales per employee              TCHF       322.1     327.3        -1.6%




(1) Previous year's figure restated according to IAS 19 (revised) "Employee
Benefits"


Annual Shareholders' Meeting on April 24, 2014
DIVIDEND: In view of the achieved increase in sales and profit, the Board
of Directors proposes at the upcoming annual shareholders' meeting a
dividend of CHF 650.- for registered shares (CHF 555.- from a
withholding-tax-free distribution from the approved capital contribution
(agio) reserve and CHF 95.- from available retained earnings), and of CHF
65.- for participation certificates (CHF 55.50 from a withholding-tax-free
distribution from the premium reserve and CHF 9.50 from available retained
earnings). This is equivalent to an increase of 13% compared to the
previous year.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS: The Board of Directors will recommend the election of
Ms. Petra Schadeberg-Herrmann as a member of the Board to succeed Dr. Kurt
Widmer who will retire from his mandate. As a business management graduate
and managing partner of Krombacher Finance GmbH in Kreuztal-Krombach
(Germany), Ms. Schadeberg-Herrmann is a proven expert in the consumer goods
industry and in the retail business. She is also a member of the
Supervisory Board of Krones AG, Neutraubling (world leader in the
manufacture of beverage and liquid food packaging and bottling machinery)
and of Commerzbank AG, Frankfurt. Her long-standing experience and profound
knowledge will make a valuable contribution to the work of the Board of
Directors.

Joint venture with Brazilian chocolate retail specialist CRM Group
As part of its ongoing expansion into new and emerging markets, Lindt &
Sprüngli is establishing the subsidiary Lindt & Sprüngli (Brazil) Holding
Ltd. in Brazil. This subsidiary will enter into a joint venture with the
Brazilian chocolate retail specialist CRM Group under the name Lindt &
Sprüngli (Brazil) SA. As a well-known Brazilian chocolate and retail
specialist, the CRM Group with its brand "Kopenhagen" and an extensive net
of retail shops is leading in the Brazilian Premium chocolate market. With
51%, Lindt & Sprüngli will hold the majority in this newly founded joint
venture company. Thanks to the partnership with CRM Group, the development
of the Brazilian market is accelerated especially with the targeted
establishment of the own retail business with LINDT Chocolate Boutiques in
prime locations. This is to be understood as a clear sign that Lindt &
Sprüngli puts a strong focus on the fifth biggest chocolate market of the
world. Lindt & Sprüngli will continue to invest in the brand as well as in
the distribution of its products, to foster growth in this dynamic market
and to sustainably support the awareness of LINDT as a Swiss premium
chocolate brand rich in tradition.

The 2013 annual report will be available online from 11 March 2014 (07.00
A.M.) at http://www.lindt.com/ch/swf/eng/investors/

Investor Relations Contact:
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG
Seestrasse 204, 8802 Kilchberg 
Investor Relations  
Tel: +41 44 716 25 37 - Investorrelations-in@lindt.com 

Media Contact:
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG
Seestrasse 204, 8802 Kilchberg
Corp. Communications
Tel. +41 44 716 24 56/57/86 - Mediarelations-in@lindt.com

Further information at http://www.lindt.com/ch/swf/ger/investors/ 
Images available at http://multimedia.photopress.ch/Customer.do?oid=68


11.03.2014 News transmitted by EQS Schweiz AG. 
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Language:               English
Company:                Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG
                        Seestrasse 204
                        8802 Kilchberg
                        Switzerland
Phone:                  + 41 44 716 25 37
Fax:                    + 41 44 716 26 60
E-mail:                 zdrozd@lindt.com
Internet:               www.lindt.com
ISIN:                   CH0010570759, CH0010570767
Valor:                  1057075, 1057076
Listed:                 SIX
 
End of Announcement                             EQS Group News-Service
 
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