Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 14:15 UK

'Stay-at-home' UK boosts Cadbury

A Cadbury Diary Milk
Cadbury's produces some of the UK's best known chocolate bars

Consumers turning to chocolate in the recession have helped lift Cadbury's UK sales by 12% in the first half of 2009.

The firm said that it had benefited from the "stay-at-home culture" with demand rising for bars of chocolate and bags of sweets.

Wispa bars and Giant Buttons as well as sales of its bite size Clusters buoyed UK sales, but the company said Ireland's market was "challenging".

Cadbury made global pre-tax profits of £112m, down from £134m a year earlier.

After one-off costs were stripped out, it made £262m, up 24%.

Fairtrade

The firm said that its profit margins had increased due to cost cutting and because it could now pay less for its marketing due to the recession's impact on the advertising industry.

In the face of tough economic times, consumers' desire for low cost treats such as chocolate and sweets looks to be playing its part
Keith Bowman, Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers

"We made good progress in the first half in challenging trading conditions," said chief executive Todd Stitzer.

Cadbury also owns the Green & Black's chocolate brand and Halls lozenges, Trident and Dentyne gum brands, and liquorice allsorts maker Bassett's.

Last week it said that its Dairy Milk chocolate had become Fairtrade certified.

In the UK and Ireland, sales grew by 12% to £635m, with profits up 36% to £79m.

In emerging markets sales grew 7% after "strong" performances in India, South Africa and South America.

The company appeared to be in good shape despite the recession, said Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.

"In the face of tough economic times, consumers' desire for low cost treats such as chocolate and sweets looks to be playing its part," he said.



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