In a trading statement yesterday, Cadbury has said it is meeting its expectations for recording strong 2004 financial results.

Todd Stitzer, ceo of Cadbury Schweppes, said: “We have made good progress in 2004 with momentum in key areas of the business driven by strong performance of core brands and cost savings from our Fuel for Growth initiative.

“Our US carbonated soft drinks business is performing well, led by Dr Pepper and our portfolio of diet brands. Similar results are also being seen in our beverage businesses in Mexico and Australia. However, overall results from out beverage operations have been constrained by a difficult market in Europe.”

The company said Cadbury had held UK market share in spite pf Nestle’s boosting sales of its KitKat chocolate biscuit, especially with strong sales of its Cadbury Dairy Milk brand.

Cadbury said it expected to perform at the lower end of its targeted range, which sees an annual growth in sales of between 3 and 5%.

Shares in the company rose yesterday by 1.25p to 465.25p.