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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 13:31 GMT
Decade-high sales boost Cadbury
Cadbury brands include Maynards wine gums and Bassetts allsorts
Cadbury Schweppes has seen its profits top market forecasts, thanks to sales growth at a 10-year high and the disposal of European and US businesses.

The chocolate-to-drinks group said underlying pre-tax profits rose 13% to 873m ($1.5bn) in the year to 1 January, as sales rose 7% to 6.51bn.

The higher revenues saw Cadbury's share of the world confectionery market increase to 9.9%.

In the UK, growth was driven by sales of premium brands like Green & Black.

Sales of the organic Green & Black chocolate range, which Cadbury bought in May 2005, jumped by 49%.

'Excellent year'

Cadbury's total UK sales grew at a more sedate annual rate of 2%.

We are the only company to gain market share in the US in each of the last two years
Todd Stitzer, Cadbury Schweppes

Chief executive Todd Stitzer said the firm had experienced an "excellent year with innovation driving success in both our confectionery and beverage businesses".

The sale of its European drinks business and a number of other non-core brands, including Grandma's Molasses, also left it in a strong position, he added.

In terms of the global confectionary market, the company is now claiming to be bigger than Mars, the US chocolate group that has dominated the market for many years.

Global growth

And slow UK sales contrast sharply with Cadbury's performance in its overseas market.

"We are the only company to gain market share in the US in each of the last two years," Mr Stitzer told the BBC.

He added that the group was reaping the benefits of its investment in the chewing gum market with double digit sales growth across the world.

"Gum is growing double digits across the world and we think innovation is driving that," Mr Stitzer added. The firm has recently launched Trident Splash gum, which comes filled with a liquid centre.

"Globally, we are very close to Wrigley although people probably don't realise that because living here in the UK people don't see Cadbury's chewing gum," he said.

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23 Feb 05 |  Business
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