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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 07:31 GMT
Cadbury sees annual profits slip
Cadbury's chocolate
Cadbury's brands include Dairy Milk chocolate and Dr Pepper drinks
Cadbury Schweppes has posted a fall in profits as it moves to integrate its recently acquired US sweets firm Adams.

But the world's biggest confectioner said it remained on course to meet its financial targets for 2004.

UK-based Cadbury said pre-tax profits before goodwill and exceptional items fell 1% to 922m ($1.76bn) in 2003.

The maker of Dairy Milk chocolate and Dr Pepper drinks is cutting costs and jobs to consolidate a recent acquisition spree.

On target

Cadbury snapped up US chewing gum business Adams, which produces brands such as Dentyne and Bubblicious, in a 2.7bn deal at the end of 2002.

Chief executive Todd Stitzer said: "The final quarter saw a broad based improvement in performance and we have seen an encouraging start to 2004.

"We expect to deliver 2004 financial performance within our goal ranges."

The company, which has its roots in an eighteenth-century drinks firm and a nineteenth-century chocolate seller, aims to increase net sales by up 5% in 2004.

Cadbury unveiled plans in October to cut 5,500 jobs and save 400m a year from 2004 to 2007, following a 4.9bn spending spree over the past three years.

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