Cadbury Schweppes has made a good start to the year, propelled by strong sales momentum in its beverages and confectionary business.

In a trading update released this morning, the group said that its confectionary businesses around the world were performing strongly, driven by market growth and market share gains, particularly in its gum and Halls businesses.

Cadbury said that it expects to see sales growth in 2005 weighted towards the first half of the year because of more demanding second half comparisons.

Re-releasing its 2004 results under International Financial Reporting Standards, Cadbury said that its underlying operating profit excluding exceptional items was 4% lower at £1,070m compared with results previously announced under UK GAAP.

Cadbury also holds its annual general meeting today, with investors waiting for an update on the group’s restructuring programme which is aiming to cut costs by £400m a year by 2007.