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Last Updated: Friday, 24 September, 2004, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Cold weather cools Cadbury sales
A wet summer
The wet summer has hit sales of Cadbury's soft drinks
A wet summer has put the dampers on drinks sales at the world's biggest confectionery group, Cadbury Schweppes.

Its European drinks business was hit by the rain and cold, forcing the group to lower its expectations for profits this year.

Cadbury, which sells 7UP, Dr Pepper and Orangina, was particularly hit by poor sales in France and Spain.

The downbeat statement follows profit warnings from soft drinks giant Coca Cola and Anglo-Dutch group Unilever.

The disappointing figures led to a fall in Cadbury shares, which were down 1.5% at 428.5p at 12GMT.


Profits for the first half of the year were up 2% and the company said it remains 'cautiously optimistic' about the full year figures.

Cadbury Schweppes sounded a positive note for other parts of the business, stressing that its global confectionary business continued to trade well.

It sells the Dairy Milk brand of chocolate and drinks in the UK and a relaunch of its Dairy Milk range led to double-digit growth in sales of chocolate bars.

An overhaul of its confectionary range has also lifted sales.

In the US, fizzy drinks including the Dr Pepper brand, outperformed the market, Cadbury said.

Business health

Cadbury's European operations were boosted in 2001 by the acquisition of Spanish soft drinks maker La Casera and Pernod Ricard which has businesses in Europe, North America and Australia.

Cadbury aims to save 400m through its so-called Fuel For Growth cost reduction programme,

Cadbury employs 54,000 people around the world, 7,000 of which are in the UK.

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