Lindt sweet as chocolate as profits jump

THE cold, wet and exceedingly long winter saw more of us gobble up Lindt gold bunnies and Lindor balls, the Swiss chocolate-maker showed today.

Lindt & Spruengli's underlying sales leapt 8.7% in the first half of the year, thanks to both the damp weather and shoppers having a little more spare cash. "The global economy reported a slight improvement which had a positive impact on consumer sentiment," Lindt said. "The cool and rainy weather in the first half also had a favourable impact on chocolate consumption."

In Europe, where Lindt sells about two thirds of all its chocolate, organic sales rose 5.8%, whilst higher demand in North America sent sales up 12.7%.

The UK "performed very well," Lindt added. Overall sales rose 9.6% to SFr 1.13 billion, while net profit jumped 40% to SFr 48.8 million.

The company is now expanding into Russia, China, and South Africa and is also launching a new range of chocolate bars, "HELLO - Nice to sweet you", with cookies and cream and caramel brownie flavours.