Chocolate makers Lindt & Spruengli posted better than expected first-half profits, boosted by its acquisition of U.S. rival Russell Stover and sending shares in the Swiss chocolate maker to record highs. Hayley Platt reports.
Chocolate makers are continuing to grapple with record high commodity prices. But Lindt & Spruengli beat expectations with a 15.6 percent rise in half year net profits. It's largely thanks to the acquisition of US confectionery maker Russell Stover -the biggest in its 170-year history. The news pushed shares up just shy of 1 percent - a record high for Lindt. Sales, including Russell Stover, rose almost 70 percent in its North American segment. Without it sales there grew just over 10 percent. The maker of Lindor chocolate balls said it had been hit by a strong Swiss franc and record high raw material costs. Still its sees underlying sales growth this year of 6-8 percent. And hopes to improve earnings further once Russell Stover is fully integrated.