British confectionary conglomerate Cadbury has announced bright prospects for 2009 following six per cent sales growth in 2008.
Slightly down on 2008, the purple-branded chocolate maker has predicted sales growth of 4-6% this year and chief executive Todd Stitzer said the company is on course to hit its target of agrowth percentage in the mid-teens by 2011.
Pre-tax profits rose by 57% to £400 million last year, the Birmingham-based Creme Egg maker announced.
“We have consistently said we are recession-resilient rather than recession-proof,” said Stitzer. “We don’t expect to be immune from macro conditions. We have given a confident but realistic outlook about what is going on in the real world. Everyone has got ‘09 coming in a little slower than ‘08.”
For Stitzer, the firm’s branding is the most important factor in its success, coupled with consumer desire to spend even through times of low expendable cash, albeit on cheaper luxuries rather than expensive commodity items. “In difficult times, people gravitate toward brands they know and love, and affordable treats,” he said
This sentiment was backed by the firm’s rival Nestlé which last week announced it is to raise its dividends by 15 per cent, “reflecting strong performance in 2008 and confidence for 2009.”