Lindor gifting lines helped push UK sales up 18.2% in 2021

Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli has joined the likes of Heineken, Unilever, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in suspending its business in Russia.

The posh chocolate brand said today it had “re-evaluated our business activities in Russia and decided to temporarily close our shops with immediate effects and suspend all of our deliveries to Russia”.

“Our local employees will continue to receive our support and we will remain in close contact with them.”

It comes as Lindt & Sprüngli’s latest results for the year ending December 31 2021 reveal it has bounced back from the pandemic with “remarkable” double-digit growth fuelled by an almost 20% jump in UK sales.

Demand for the Lindor gift lines and general gifting items drove the 18.2% organic growth in the UK market as families and friends were able to celebrate Christmas together in 2021.

Group revenues registered organic growth of 13.3% to CHF 4.6bn (£3.8bn) in 2021 and outperformed trading in 2019 before the pandemic hit.

Lindt was hit by lockdowns and lack of international travel in 2020 given its exposure to retail outlets around the world, which were forced to close, and duty-free presence, as well as the key Easter and festive periods being affected by restrictions.

All three business regions – North America, Europe and the rest of the world – achieved double-digit growth last year and the online operation continued to expand. However, sales from tourism in retail shops continued to decline amid ongoing restrictions.

Operating profits at the business jumped 53.2% to CHF 490.5m (£401.5m) on increased sales.

Lindt also upped its 2022 forecast organic sales growth from the 5%-7% given at a trading update in January to the upper end of the 6%-8% range, with operating margins of 15%.