Cadbury has delivered a 3% rise in UK sales despite much “uglier” trading conditions than a year ago, according to boss Todd Stitzer.

Price hikes of 50% in oil prices, 37% in cocoa and 29% in sugar made for a “scary” environment, Stitzer admitted during the group’s half-year sales results this week. 

The knock-on effects of inflation would not fully hit the company until next year, he warned, adding that it would continue to look to reduce costs and pass on price increases. 

On-shelf prices have actually fallen over the past year. According to The Grocer pricing data, a 250g bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk costs £1.31 now compared with £1.34 a year ago. 

However, retailers had taken the hit, he implied. “We have pushed up our chocolate prices by 3% to 4% to British retailers but they are motivated by their own sales strategies with our products,” he said. 

Total sales across the group rose 7% to £2.65bn.