Lindor X-Large Shell Egg Salted Caramel 348g

Lindt highlighted a strong Easter performance as a driver of its first-half performance

Chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli has lifted its forecasts for the year after smashing expectations in the first half as the positive growth trend in the global chocolate market continued.

Organic sales jumped 12.3% to CHF 2bn (£1.7bn) in the six months to the end of June, well ahead of the 7.8% expected by analysts.

The Swiss group said the results were achieved despite “a challenging economic environment” characterised by continued supply chain bottlenecks for raw and packaging material, increasing inflationary pressure, cost increases for energy and logistics and the effects of the war in Ukraine.

It added the main drivers of the sales increase were volume growth and price increases in roughly equal measure.

Lindt expanded its market share in all three of its geographic segments, with Valentine’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day all contributing to demand for its premium products as consumers were able to celebrate without Covid restrictions.

In Europe, the group registered organic sales growth of 9.1% to CHF 980.1m (£845.7m), with core markets in Germany and Italy reaching double-digit rises, while in North America sales increased 15.2% to CHF 739.1m (£637.9m).

Group operating profits also rose 36.2% to CHF 138.4m (£119/5m) despite inflationary pressures, with higher prices for sugar, milk powder, packaging, energy cots and logistics.

“Despite efficiency improvements in production, inflationary cost pressure will ultimately lead to further price increases for our products,” Lindt warned.

Thanks to the strong performance in the half, Lindt raised expectations for the year, with organic sales growth now forecast to be in the range of 8% to 10%, up from 6% to 8% previously.