July 9, 2020 / 5:36 AM / a month ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Barry Callebaut sees improvement in June, raises mid-term outlook

(Corrects volumes to food manufacturers, overall sales, paragraphs 4,6)

ZURICH, July 9 (Reuters) - Barry Callebaut's sales volumes improved in June, letting it raise its mid-term guidance for the three-year period starting in September as it hopes to shrug off the COVID-19 hit it took in the three months to May, it said on Thursday.

The company, which makes chocolate for big food groups like Nestle and Unilever, said it was confident enough to lift its mid-term guidance for fiscal years 2020/21 to 2022/23 to 5-7% sales volume growth, from 4-6% previously.

It said the updated guidance excluded the current fiscal year that ends on Aug. 31.

In the quarter to May, sales volumes fell 14.3% as volumes at its gourmet business that supplies chocolate to restaurants and bakeries nearly halved due to lockdown measures. Volumes to food manufacturers fell 9.7%.

Barry Callebaut said, however, that a significant outsourcing contract in May was a "strong signal of resilience" and that it would start deliveries for the unidentified partner in the first quarter of 2020/21.

Sales revenue in the first nine months rose 0.4% in local currencies to 5.2 billion Swiss francs ($5.55 billion). ($1 = 0.9364 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz Editing by Riham Alkousaa)

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