Lindt & Spruengli AG (LISN), the world’s largest maker of premium chocolate, raised its profitability forecast after reporting first-half earnings that beat estimates as improving economic growth boosted consumption.
The operating-margin increase this year will be near the upper end of a targeted 0.2 percentage-point to 0.4 percentage-point range, the Kilchberg, Switzerland-based company said in a statement today.
First-half net income rose 40 percent to 48.8 million Swiss francs ($53 million), beating the 44.3 million-franc average of five analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The sales gain excluding currency effects was 8.7 percent, led by 13 percent growth in North America, the world’s largest chocolate market.
“The global economy reported a slight improvement, which had a positive impact on consumer sentiment in many countries,” Lindt said. “In parallel, the pressure of several foreign currencies on the Swiss franc decreased somewhat.”
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