Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer has warned that shops are stocking fewer of the confectionery giant’s products on their shelves as retailers struggle to improve their cash flow.

Stitzer made the comments after Cadbury yesterday insisted that its end-of-year performance would be in line with expectations. However, Stitzer admitted that sales in North America and parts of Europe had “softened” over the last quarter.

“Cautious consumers are taking fewer trips to convenience stores and using airports and train stations a bit less frequently,” Stitzer said.

However, the company saw its share of the UK chocolate market inch up to 30%, buoyed in part by the relaunch of retro favourite Wispa.

In a busy day for the confectionery giant, Cadbury also yesterday announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer and unveiled plans to sell off its Australian beverages business – the company’s last remaining drinks operation.

Andrew Bonfield will be joining as finance head next year, replacing the retiring Ken Hanna.