Mondelez: Cadbury’s owner unfazed by global chocolate sales slump

The company’s biggest market saw a 24.3% slump in sales

Rising sales of Dairy Milk chocolate in Asia failed to stop a slump in revenues at Cadbury’s US owner, Mondelez, last year, as price hikes left a sour taste in the mouths of European chocolate lovers.

Mondelez, which bought the British chocolate maker in 2010, said full-year revenues fell 13.5 per cent to $29.6bn (£20bn) after the strong dollar took its toll.

The Asia Pacific division, which includes both China and India, was the best performing region, with revenues down 5.3 per cent but Europe, the company’s biggest market, saw a 24.3 per cent slump in sales. 

The company, which was hit by a warmer European summer denting appetite for chocolate, also raised prices to offset the rising cost of ingredients.  

“We are actually pleased with the progression we’ve seen in Europe,” its chief executive Irene Rosenfeld said. “We did invest as we got out of the hot weather… particularly behind chocolate.”

Although the business refuses to break down sales details of specific brands, Ms Rosenfeld hailed the success of Dairy Milk in India after a big advertising push. 

The company forecasts an overall tax rate in the low to mid 20 per cent range next year – encouraging news for critics of its tax regime. Mondelez came under fire from trade unions and descendants of the Cadbury dynasty in December after its UK accounts showed that the company paid no corporation tax on its Cadbury UK division in 2014 despite making a £96.5m profit. It lawfully uses loan payments on a bond listed in the Channel Islands to cancel out UK tax liabilities.

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