Lindt & Spruengli raises guidance, unveils new buyback

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli (LISN.S) on Tuesday raised its sales guidance and unveiled a 1 billion Swiss franc ($1.04 billion) share buyback programme after first-half net profit jumped 36% to 138.4 million francs.

It said it now expected 2022 organic sales growth of 8-10% with an operating margin of around 15%. It had previous guided for 6-8% growth this year, a target it reaffirmed for the medium to long term.

Growth in the global chocolate market has been sluggish of late, but Lindt & Spruengli managed to outperform the market because customers are willing to pay more for its upmarket products and the novelties it launches regularly.

The group’s organic sales grew 12.3% – or 10.7% in Swiss francs – in the half to 1.99 billion francs, helped by market share gains in all regions, the maker of Lindor chocolate balls said in a statement.

The buyback programme for registered shares and participation certificates will start on Aug. 2 and last until the end of July 2024 at the latest. It said it intends to cancel the shares it repurchases.

Peer Barry Callebaut (BARN.S) last week posted a 7.9% rise in sales volumes for the nine months to May, citing strong demand across regions.

($1 = 0.9638 Swiss francs)