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Lindt & Sprüngli Raises Midterm Guidance After Full-Year Profit Beat

Swiss chocolate-maker Lindt & Sprüngli wants to grow sales by 6-8% this year and over the medium term, raising its guidance from 5-7% previously, it announced on Tuesday, after net profit rose more than expected last year.

The company, whose gold foil-wrapped chocolate Easter bunnies are now on supermarket shelves, was able to gain market share last year, as it kept spending on advertising and new products.

Higher Dividend

Net profit rose by 53%, to 490.5 million Swiss francs ($530 million) – ahead of an estimate of 474.8 million francs in a Refinitiv poll – the maker of Lindor chocolate balls noted in a statement, proposing a 9% higher dividend of 1,200 francs per share – slightly below the poll estimate.

It grew its operating margin to 14.1% last year and wants to improve it further, to 15%, in 2022, it noted, adding that organic sales growth was expected at the upper end of the 6-8% range this year.

Organic Sales Growth

Based in Kilchberg, on Lake Zurich, Lindt already released 2021 organic sales growth of 13.3% in January.

It identified a slowdown in North America in the second half of 2021, due to supply chain bottlenecks at production sites of its Russell Stover brand.

It also adopted new environmental commitments, promising that all of its packaging, including plastics, will be 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025.

Legal Win

Lindt & Sprüngli’s gold foil-wrapped chocolate Easter bunny scored a legal win in July last year, as Germany’s federal court ruled that its gold tone had trademark protection.

The Swiss premium chocolate-maker has been fighting many court battles over the years to protect one of its best-selling products, which, according to the federal court, has crossed German counters more than 500 million times in the past 30 years.

After failing to get comprehensive trademark protection for the shape of its sitting bunny, Lindt changed its tactics, trying to protect the shade of the foil instead – a strategy that seems to be bearing fruit.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more A-brand stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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