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Drinks break for slimmer Cadbury

Dairy Milk maker Cadbury today began life once more as a pure confectionery firm after spinning off its American drinks arm.

Shares in the chocolate giant were trading in London as Cadbury after the group dropped the Schweppes joint branding following a decision to demerge the drinks business, Dr Pepper Snapple, through a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, due to take place on May 7.

The move leaves the remaining Cadbury operation as the world's second largest confectionery business, overtaken only by Mars after its deal to buy the Wrigley chewing gum group, unveiled earlier this week.

Standalone Cadbury has revenues of more than £5 billion and underlying profit of around £500 million, according to the group.

Shares in the firm made their debut on the London Stock Exchange today with a rise of nearly 2% in early trade.

Todd Stitzer, chief executive, said: "The separation of beverages allows us to take the company back to the future.

"The past few years have seen a transformation of the group's performance and as a focused confectionery company we will be able to do better still."