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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 17:58 GMT
Sweet-tooths boost Cadbury profits
Cadbury's chocolate bar
Cadbury, the UK drinks and confectionery giant, has credited its sweet-toothed customers for exceeding expectations in 2002.

But the maker of Dairy Milk chocolate and Schweppes tonic water said its performance this year would be hampered by restructuring and that the company not meet it 10% growth target.

Cadbury announced plans to "de-layer" the company structure, including the amalgamation of its North American business, and reorganise its management.

"2003 will be a year of transition," said chief executive John Sunderland.

Big ambitions

Cadbury agreed to buy the US sweets group Adams last December for $4.2bn (2.6bn) in a deal which will make it the world's largest confectionery group.

The move will add Halls medicated sweets and Trident sugar-free gum to its portfolio and is expected to be complete by the end of March.

Cadbury reported a 6% rise in overall profits for 2002 to 935m, in line with analyst forecasts.

It said the most significant gains were in its confectionary business and enjoyed strong sales of Trebor Bassett sweets in the UK and Australia.

Disruption ahead

But Mr Sunderland warned that plans to reorganise its North American drinks business and integrate Adams would affect sales.

"As we consolidate these various developments...this will have some impact on our achievement against our targets for this year," said the chief executive.

He added: "(This) will provide an excellent platform for future revenue and profit growth."

Investors were more wary, with shares down 6% to 314p.

See also:

02 Sep 02 | Business
17 Jul 02 | Business
13 Feb 02 | Business
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