Cadbury Schweppes is seeking confectionery acquisitions in the UK after focusing on the drinks side of its business over the past year, said CEO John Sunderland. And he promised new product launches and heavy promotional activity in the UK confectionery sector for the rest of 2002 as the company posted a 7% rise in half-year turnover this week. Activity will be funded by proceeds from an ongoing worldwide efficiency drive, which is reducing supply chain costs, and is expected to generate 5% earnings per share growth a year for the next five years, Sunderland said. Cadbury Trebor Bassett will be "reaching out to serve key growth channels, like clubs, pubs, and leisure centres" in the UK. It has set a target to improve distribution to 260,000 of these outlets in the UK and increase their share of the overall confectionery market from the current 8% to 20%. It is also installing new confectionery PoS equipment in 18,000 outlets. Cadbury Schweppes reported pre-tax profit to June 16 up 10% to £386m from £351m last year on sales up £2.4bn from £2.2bn in 2001, with an overall growth in sales volume of 6% and like-for-like sales volumes up 3%. All acquisitions made last year, such as Squirt and Nantucket Nectars Stateside were performing "in line with or ahead of expectations". {{NEWS }}