Barry Callebaut Nine-Month Sales Advance on Gourmet Chocolate

Barry Callebaut AG, the world’s biggest maker of bulk chocolate, said it expects volume to accelerate after nine-month sales advanced 7.6 percent, fueled by production for food companies and growth in gourmet products.

Revenue climbed to 4.64 billion Swiss francs ($4.9 billion) in the period through May, the Zurich-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Analysts expected 4.65 billion francs, according to the median of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Volume increased 2.5 percent even as the market shrank 2.1 percent.

The company, which supplies Unilever with chocolate for its Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brands, hired that company’s head of food, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, as chief executive officer last month. He’ll start the job on Oct. 1.

“We expect sales volume to gain more momentum in the fourth quarter,” outgoing CEO Juergen Steinemann said in the statement.

Barry Callebaut reiterated a forecast for volume to rise 6 percent to 8 percent annually on average and earnings before interest and taxes per metric ton to reach 256 francs in the 12 months through August 2016, subject to currency shifts.

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