Improved sales of gum and candy have helped Cadbury to a strong start to the second quarter, the chocolate specialist reported today.

Cadbury was on target for full-year revenue growth at the lower end of the 4-6% range following improved trading in April and May, chief executive Todd Stitzer announced.

He said growth in chocolate was “robust” on the back of NPD and a good seasonal performance, while gum and candy sales both grew thanks to improved performances in developed markets.

The UK, South America, Middle East, African and Asian regions all performed well, although difficult trading conditions hit the Irish and Continental European markets, Cadbury said. North America continued to recover from de-stocking early in the first quarter.

“Our early progress has continued into the second quarter with our businesses focused on delivering market share gains and efficiency improvements,” Stitzer added.