Switzerland's Barry Callebaut, the world's biggest chocolate maker, on Wednesday appointed Peter Feld as its new chief executive after lowering sales volume guidance as inflation-hit consumers cut back on purchases.
Feld succeeds CEO Peter Boone, who is stepping down for personal reasons with immediate effect, the company said.
Feld previously held the top position at Jacobs Holding, Barry Callebaut's biggest shareholder.
The Zurich-based firm, which supplies chocolate for the Magnum ice creams made by Unilever and for Nestlé's KitKat bars, said sales volumes in the six months ended 28 February fell 2.9% to 1.13 million tonnes.
Volumes have been hit by inflation dampening demand, the company said.
The chocolate maker now forecasts full-year volume growth to be "flat to modest," Ben De Schryver chief financial officer said.
Barry Callebaut shares were down 2.5%, according to Julius Baer bank's pre-market indications.
"Today's news is unlikely to reassure investors," Jean-Philippe Bertschy, analyst Vontobel said. The 2023 guidance reset was not surprising but "the magnitude of the downward revision is significant," he added.
Sales Volumes Decline
The company said that the sales volumes decline moderated in the second quarter, slowing to -0.5%, from -5.1% in the previous quarter.
Revenue grew 3.7% to 4.2 billion Swiss francs ($4.64 billion) as the company managed to pass higher raw material costs to customers, it added.