Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli saw its profits plummet in 2020 with the pandemic, but said on Tuesday it expects sales to increase by 6-8% in 2021, suggesting a sharp rebound.
This objective for the current year is higher than its medium to long-term growth objective of 5 to 7% (excluding currency effects and acquisitions) which the group also confirmed when publishing its annual results.
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The Swiss chocolate maker also said it expects its operating margin to rebound to around 13 to 14% in 2021, which should then rise to 15% in 2022, he said in a statement.
With the shock of the health crisis especially in the first half, its net profit contracted by 37.5% compared to the previous year, to 320.1 million Swiss francs (290.8 million euros) .
Its operating margin has crumbled to 10.5%, against 13.2% a year earlier, he said.
The Swiss chocolate maker known for its Lindor pralines and golden Easter bunnies had already published its turnover in January, reporting a 6.1% drop in sales (excluding currency effects).
With the strength of the Swiss franc, they contracted 10.9% to 4.02 billion francs.
While sales of its brand of Excellence chocolate bars recorded double-digit growth, the Swiss group suffered the repercussions of the collapse in tourism which weighed on sales of duty-free shops, the drop in attendance at its cafes and stores with sanitary restrictions and falling demand for its catering services.
The health crisis also weighed on demand at Easter and Christmas, two key periods for chocolate sales.
The Swiss group said it was "
" that it will be able to "
control the current economic slowdown
" and emerge stronger from the crisis.
He announced a 750 million Swiss franc share buyback that will begin in June.