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Lindt enjoys sweet sales

Lindt enjoys sweet sales
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Swiss chocolate maker Lindt is upbeat about sales for this year.

It said strong demand for its premium chocolates boosted its market share in the first six months and helped counter cocoa prices that are at record high levels.

Lindt, best-known for its gold foil-wrapped chocolate rabbits, said it plans to offset the rising price of raw materials by improving efficiency and cutting costs.

Chief Executive Ernst Tanner said Lindt expected to return to its long-term targets of six to eight percent organic sales and eight to 10 percent operating profit growth next year.

“We are generally confident although consumer sentiment should still be a bit subdued in the second half,” Tanner said.

He added: “We are seeing a slight improvement in consumer sentiment, particularly in Europe.”

The company, based in Kilchberg on Lake Zurich, posted a forecast-beating first-half net profit of 24.8 million Swiss francs (18.86 million euros) and better-than-expected 9.2 percent sales growth in local currencies.