In 2021, with double-digit growth taking total sales to around CHF 4.59 billion, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group achieved very good financial results, surpassing even the financial year 2019. These results show how effectively the company has adapted to the evolving needs of consumers and their transformation which has been accelerated further by the pandemic.
The 2021 financial year – despite continuing uncertainties relating to the pandemic, as in the previous year – turned out to be a very good one for Lindt & Sprüngli in all markets. Lindt & Sprüngli achieved Group sales of CHF 4.59 billion, equating to organic growth of 13.3%, to which all regions and areas of business contributed.
In 2021, the markets recovered from the previous year’s levels. This was partly due to the fact that in times when precautionary measures meant that people had to follow lockdown restrictions, chocolate was appreciated around the globe as comfort food to enjoy at home. The growth in sales resulted partially from catch-up effects which accompanied the reopening of bricks-and-mortar retail. In addition, more opportunities for social contact and festive occasions such as Easter and Christmas were celebrated as usual which led to an increase for gifting items. Above all the Lindor product line benefited from this effect.
The online channels recorded continued growth last year. Particularly in countries where bricks-and-mortar retail was still hemmed in by restrictions, purchases in the virtual realm often more than compensated for the decline in the physical retail trade. Thanks to our omni-channel approach, Lindt & Sprüngli was well prepared for this. With our own e-shops, our presence on digital marketplaces, joint ventures with the online channels of large supermarkets, apps and collaboration with quick-commerce suppliers, we provide a multitude of touchpoints which offer consumers a largely seamless shopping experience. The advantage that Lindt & Sprüngli chocolates are always just one click away simplifies the purchasing process, and this is reflected in the sales figures for our markets.
In this market environment, we have once again been able to strengthen our market position in many countries and to gain market share. Numerous new developments, first and foremost in the Lindor and Excellence product lines, contributed to this positive trend.
Lindt & Sprüngli is one of the few global chocolate manufacturers to produce chocolate products from bean to bar, and to do so it needs high-quality raw materials and packaging materials. Despite the high price volatility on the market and challenges in the supply chain, Lindt & Sprüngli managed to ensure the supply of raw materials to almost all production sites in 2021. We also faced rising costs, with the prices for sugar, milk products, almonds and various vegetable fats increasing significantly. The cost of hazelnuts, cocoa beans and cocoa butter, by contrast, changed only slightly. In the area of packaging materials, there have been steep cost increases, in particular for aluminum, plastic and corrugated cardboard, and these will continue in 2022.
Despite the positive business trend in 2021, we do not believe that the economic impact of the pandemic has yet been completely overcome. However, the results show that Lindt & Sprüngli adjusted so well to the more complex conditions. Thus, it was able not only to offset the sales lost due to the pandemic, but to overcompensate for them. In the future we will continue to react quickly and flexibly to further developments.