UK: Cadbury Schweppes Issues 2000 Interim Trading Update
-- Underlying earnings for the first half are expected to be in line with our target to deliver double-digit earnings growth for the full year.
-- In the US, Dr Pepper/Seven Up (DPSU) continues to deliver volume growth and market share gains. The Mott's division has also enjoyed a strong start to the year.
-- Both these US businesses have benefited from the successful integration of Hawaiian Punch. The performance of DPSU has been further enhanced by the significant strengthening of our route to market following the creation of the DPSU Bottling Group, which has also had a good start to the year.
-- Our European Beverages business is performing ahead of expectations, driven by profitable growth in France and Spain.
-- Trading in the UK, our most important chocolate market, has been satisfactory. Market share has increased in a period of increased promotional activity for the whole market.
-- Our second largest Confectionery market, Australia, is delivering strong volume and profit growth.
-- Overall, other confectionery markets are performing in line with expectations, including China, which is on track to breakeven this year.
-- We have announced that we are in discussions with Kraft Foods to acquire its chewing gum and sugar Confectionery business in France. This acquisition would complement our existing French business and give us access to the profitable chewing gum segment.
John Sunderland, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes, said, "We continue our strategy of building robust and sustainable businesses in confectionery and beverages, both organically and by acquisitions. First half results will demonstrate continued progress under our Managing for Value initiatives. The recent management reorganisation gives further impetus to our drive for growth and efficiency in our chosen markets".
1. The trading update will be followed by a conference call for analysts at 3 p.m. (GMT) today.
2. This news release may be deemed to include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the US Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934. It should be read in conjunction with our 1999 Annual Report and Form 2--F for the 52 weeks ended 2 January 2000, copies of which are available from Cadbury Schweppes plc, 25 Berkeley Square, London W1X 6HT.
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