Cadbury costs bite into Kraft profits

Costs stemming from the acquisition of the UK chocolate business Cadbury left the US food giant Kraft with a 24 per cent drop in Q4 profits.

The cost of ingredients such as corn, sugar and cocoa also took a chunk out of the results as the maker of Oreo cookies, Capri-Sun and Maxwell House coffee saw net income fall to $540m (£335m) in the final three months of 2010.

Cadbury's European revenues were flat as solid UK growth was offset by weaker gum and sweet sales in southern Europe. The Cadbury business fared less well in North America, where net revenues were down 6.1 per cent due to lower sales of Trident and Stride gum and strong trading by Halls cough drops a year earlier.

Across the Kraft business, revenues increased by 30 per cent to $13.8bn.