Cadbury “gorilla” ad drives UK sales

Cadbury Schweppes has reported that the relaunch of Wispa and the Dairy Milk Gorilla ad led to 6% revenue growth in Britain, Ireland and emerging markets in year to December 31. The rise came despite a 2% fall in overall profits.

Cadbury Schweppes has reported that the relaunch of Wispa and the Dairy Milk “gorilla” ad led to 6% revenue growth in Britain, Ireland and emerging markets in year to December 31. The rise came despite a 2% fall in overall profits.

In the UK, the business grew by 5%, largely attributed to a 16% growth in the gum market following the launch of its Trident brand early in the year, and a strong performance in the chocolate category in the second half. Revenues in emerging markets, Africa and the Middle East grew by 15%.

Overall, the company’s underlying pre-tax profits dropped by 2% to £915m in the year to December 31, compared to 2006. It has attributed the fall to a weaker US dollar and price hikes in raw materials.

Group marketing spend rose by £14m to £707m last year compared to 2006, with a significant proportion spent in the confectionery market in the UK.

Todd Stitzer, Cadbury Schweppes chief executive, says: “Our confectionery business had an excellent year with strong commercial execution and tight control of costs driving 7% revenue growth and a good margin performance in the second half.

“Although the economic outlook for 2008 remains uncertain, we are encouraged by the good trading momentum we have seen in the new year and our continued progress on cost reduction initiatives.”

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