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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Profits rise at Cadbury
Dairy milk bars
Profits at Cadbury Schweppes rose 10% to 386m in the first half of this year.

Sales of confectionary in Argentina have however slumped 40%, as the continued economic crisis there causes many Argentines to lose their taste for sweeter stuff.

The North American market also provided little to satisfy Cadbury, with poor soft drink sales subduing the overall sales figure. Like for like sales rose just 3%.

The rise in profits reflects the strong performance of its recent acquisitions and with this in mind, Cadbury has said it is on the look out for further purchases.

More money in gum

The firm has now hinted it may buy America's Adams confectionary, due to be auctioned this year, and possibly Pfizer's Dentyne & Trident chewing gum business - also due for sale this year.

"Adams is not officially for sale, but it is a significant confectionary business and you would expect us to have a look and we probably would," Cadbury chief executive John Sunderland said.

The gum business is - Cadbury hopes - potentially more lucrative than chocolate.

Last year, Cadbury bought French chewing gum business Liberty, and last month it bought Denmark's Dandy.

After Wrigley and Adams, Cadbury is the world's third biggest chewing gum company.

Americas' gloom

The main dampener on the company's results were poor sales in the Americas.

Poor drink sales at Dr Pepper and 7UP in North America reflect a switch to new independent bottlers and bad weather, the company said.

"Cadbury has consistently produced double digit earnings growth but what the market is wanting to see is better top-line sales growth in North American beverages and next year will be pretty tough, " HSBC Securities' analyst Graham Jones said.

In the City, Cadbury shares stood 10p higher at 435p in midday trade on Wednesday.

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13 Feb 02 | Business
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