Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG

DGAP-Adhoc: Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG: SEMI-ANNUAL REPORT

Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG  / Key word(s): Half Year Results

19.08.2014 07:00

Release of an ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 KR
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Press Release

SEMI-ANNUAL REPORT
January - June 2014

  - Lindt & Sprüngli continues its long-standing track for growth

  - Above-average organic growth of 9.2%

  - Sales up 6.0% in Swiss francs at CHF 1.2 billion

  - Market share gains in all key markets

  - Accelerated geographical expansion

  - Operating profit (EBIT) 17.7% higher at CHF 77.1 million

  - Medium to long-term strategic sales and earnings for the whole year
    confirmed

Kilchberg, August 19, 2014 - Lindt & Sprüngli has made a successful start
into the financial year 2014. Sales and profit growth in the first half of
2014 was once again well above the market average. This led to further
market share gains in all important markets and strengthened accordingly
the company's already leading position in the premium chocolate segment.
The acquisition of the US family business Russell Stover/Whitman's,
announced on July 14, 2014, is clear evidence of Lindt & Sprüngli's
determination to expand its position in North America and further enhance
its already substantial contribution to the dynamic growth of the premium
chocolate segment in the world's biggest chocolate market. In response to
the good overall progress of business and the accompanying above-average
volume growth, considerable further investments have been made to expand
the capacity of the production facilities in Switzerland, Germany, France,
and the USA.

The first half of 2014 saw a further slight improvement of the general
economic background in most countries. Early signs of stabilization have
even been observed in Southern Europe, but this has not yet been fully
reflected in consumer sentiment. The strong pressure of competition in the
retail trade and the sustained weakness of a number of foreign currencies
against the Swiss franc continue to be very challenging. The same applies
for the raw materials sector, where the prices of almost all the
commodities that are important for the chocolate business stepped up
further, in particular cocoa beans, cocoa butter, milk, and nuts. In view
of this upward trend, Lindt & Sprüngli, alike other companies, had to make
occasional price adjustments on selected products.

The Group's already sound position in the key European markets of Germany,
France and the U.K., as well as Switzerland, became even stronger due to
above-average growth rates and further market share gains. Good progress
has also been reported in Italy, although sales in the traditional
distribution channels are still under pressure. On the other hand, growth
of business in the modern Italian retail trade is proving very
satisfactory.

In North America, Lindt & Sprüngli achieved organic sales growth of 13.7%
with its LINDT and GHIRARDELLI brands, and is not only continuing to grow
considerably faster than the overall chocolate market, but is even
outperforming the general trend of the dynamic premium segment. All three
North American subsidiaries in the USA and Canada reflected this very
positive development. Following the acquisition of Russell
Stover/Whitman's, an American family business with a long-standing
tradition, Lindt & Sprüngli gains momentum in the path of geographical
expansion. This, the biggest and strategically most important acquisition
in the company's history, strengthens Lindt & Sprüngli's clear leadership
in the American premium chocolate segment and consolidates its status as
the third-largest manufacturer in the USA, the world's biggest chocolate
market.

In Australia too, Lindt & Sprüngli has been stepping up its growth rate
year on year and is increasingly consolidating its leading position in the
premium chocolate segment. The Brazilian Lindt & Sprüngli subsidiary, which
was incorporated in the first half of 2014, has entered into a joint
venture with the CRM Group, Brazil's market leader for premium chocolate.
The establishment of this joint venture, in which

Lindt & Sprüngli holds a 51% majority interest, is a clear sign for Lindt &
Sprüngli's long-term commitment to the world's fifth-largest chocolate
market and to its ongoing expansion into new and fast-growing emerging
countries.

The sales performance of the worldwide Lindt & Sprüngli retail network
continues to report a highly dynamic growth, gaining 19.3% in the first
half of 2014. Amounting to some 10% of Group sales, the "Global Retail"
Division has become a mainstay of the business model and makes an
ever-growing contribution to Group-wide sales. In the LINDT Boutiques and
Chocolate Cafés - especially in the new emerging markets - the extensive
product range is presented effectively to consumers. At the same time a
unique shopping experience is being created, generating long-lasting brand
awareness and close customer ties. For this purpose, new LINDT shops were
newly opened at prime locations in the first half of 2014. A special
highlight was the inauguration of the LINDT "Swiss Chocolate Heaven" by
LINDT brand ambassador Roger Federer on the Jungfrau. The spectacular
opening event with an exhibition tennis match between Roger Federer and the
US ski champion Lindsey Vonn generated global media interest. Year after
year, the new LINDT Experience Shop will now sweeten the excursion to the
"Top of Europe" (3,454 m above sea level) for nearly one million tourists
from all over the world. This will generate an unforgettable afterglow of
the LINDT brand in the minds of the primarily Asian guests.

Lindt & Sprüngli is aware of the national and international importance of
the Swiss chocolate industry and is therefore actively committed to
safeguarding Switzerland's long-term importance as a worldwide center of
chocolate manufacturing. With that aim in mind, the LINDT Chocolate
Competence Foundation was set up in 2013 with a view to broadening
professional expertise and knowledge in the field of chocolate. The widely
acclaimed "Swiss Chocolate Adventure" multimedia experience world in the
Lucerne Museum of Transport was established thanks to the financial support
of the foundation. It was opened in mid-June 2014 and gives the general
public an information platform covering all aspects of Swiss chocolate.

As at June 30, 2014, Group sales reached CHF 1.2 billion. This represents a
gain of 6.0% in Swiss francs and organic growth in local currencies of 9.2%
against the first half of 2013, and has been accompanied by the gain of
further market shares.

As at June 30, 2014, the operating profit (EBIT) stood at CHF 77.1 million,
equivalent to growth of CHF 11.6 million or 17.7% on the comparable period
of 2013. After deducting income taxes at the increased rate of 27.0%, the
Group's net income of CHF 55.8 million for the first half of 2014 was also
higher than in the same period of 2013. In comparison with the previous
year's figure (CHF 48.8 million) this represents an increase of CHF 7.0
million or 14.3%.

Outlook - Excluding the anticipated pro rata contribution to sales and
income of the newly acquired, American-based Russell Stover/Whitman's
company, Lindt & Sprüngli is confirming its medium to long-term strategic
performance targets for the year as a whole and forecasts organic sales
growth of 6 to 8%. The EBIT-margin will be 20 to 40 basis points higher
than in the previous year, well within the target range.

Lindt & Sprüngli will report on the further course of business on the
following dates:

- January 13, 2015 Net sales for financial year 2014
- March 10, 2015 Year-end presentation 2014 for press (morning)
 Year-end presentation 2014 for financial analysts (afternoon)
- April 23, 2015 117th Annual General Meeting
- July 14, 2015 Semi-annual net sales 2015
- August 18, 2015 Semi-annual report, January to June 2015

About Lindt & Sprüngli: As the global leader in the premium chocolate
sector, Lindt & Sprüngli looks back on a long standing tradition of almost
170 years which takes its origins in Zurich, Switzerland. Today, quality
chocolate products by Lindt & Sprüngli are made at eight own production
sites in Europe and the USA. They are distributed by numerous subsidiary
companies and branch offices and also via a comprehensive network of
independent distributors all over the world. With some 9,000 employees, the
Lindt & Sprüngli Group reported sales worth around CHF 2.88 billion in
2013.

Media contact
Tel. +41 44 716 24 56/57/86
e-mail: Mediarelations-in@lindt.com

Investor Relations contact
Tel. +41 44 716 25 37
e-mail: Investorrelations-in@lindt.com


 SEMI-ANNUAL REPORT 2014

When interpreting the first half-year results, it must be considered that
Lindt & Sprüngli is active in the seasonal, gift-oriented premium chocolate
segment in which less than 40% of total annual sales are achieved in the
first half of the year. However, these figures must be set against the fact
that around one-half of the fixed costs of production, administration, and
marketing are already booked at the end of June. In the first half-year,
profitability in relation to sales is therefore always well below the
figure stated for the year as a whole.


KEY FIGURES INCOME STATEMENT (unaudited)



CHF milion                                  2014            2013    Change
                                    January-June    January-June      in %
Sales growth in local currencies                                       9.2
Sales                                    1,199.9         1,132.0       6.0
Other income                                 7.9             4.2      88.1
Total income                             1,207.8         1,136.2       6.3
Total expenses                          -1,130.7        -1,070.7       5.6
EBIT                                        77.1            65.5      17.7
Net financial result                        -0.7            -0.5      40.0
Income before taxes                         76.4            65.0      17.5
Taxes                                      -20.6           -16.2      27.2
Semi-annual net income                      55.8            48.8      14.3
Employees                                  8,745           8,187       6.8




KEY FIGURES BALANCE SHEET (unaudited)



CHF million                         30.6.2014        %  31.12.2013        %
ASSETS
Property, plant & equipment            900.3                853.3
Other non-current assets             1,212.0              1,061.7
Total non-current assets             2,112.3     56.7%    1,915.0     49.3%
Inventories                            518.6                454.8
Receivables/other assets               449.0                780.4
Securities & cash                      647.2                730.5
Total current assets                 1,614.8     43.3%    1,965.7     50.7%
Total assets                         3,727.1    100.0%    3,880.7    100.0%
LIABILITIES
Total shareholders' equity           2,631.1     70.6%    2,634.7     67.9%
Total non-current liabilities          568.0     15.2%      507.4    13.1 %
Accounts payable to supplier/other     161.1                255.8
Accrued liabilities                    360.1                473.2
Bank & other borrowings                  6.8                  9.6
Total current liabilities              528.0     14.2%      738.6     19.0%
Total liabilities and                3,727.1    100.0%    3,880.7    100.0%
shareholders' equity






Extensive figures and notes on the Semi-Annual Report in English and German

are available on www.lindt.com (Investors - Financial Information).

Forward looking statements:
Some of the statements expressed in the semi-annual report are based on
forward-looking assumptions. The actual results may vary from these for a
variety of reasons, including factors such as general economic conditions,
fluctuations within the currency and raw materials sector and changes to
the regulatory landscape. Forward-looking statements made in this report
are neither updated nor revised. The semi-annual report is published in
German and English, with the German version being binding.


19.08.2014 News transmitted by EQS Schweiz AG.
The issuer is responsible for the contents of the release.

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Language:               English
Company:                Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG
                        Seestrasse 204
                        8802 Kilchberg
                        Switzerland
Phone:                  + 41 44 716 25 37
Fax:                    + 41 44 716 26 60
E-mail:              zdrozd@lindt.com
Internet:            www.lindt.com
ISIN:                   CH0010570759, CH0010570767
Valor:                  1057075, 1057076
Listed:                 SIX

End of Announcement                             EQS Group News-Service

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