Lindt CEO sees double-digit growth in North America in 2014

ZURICH Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:11am EST

Ernst Tanner CEO of Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Spruengli attends the annual news conference in Kilchberg near Zurich March 15, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Ernst Tanner CEO of Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Spruengli attends the annual news conference in Kilchberg near Zurich March 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli (LISP.S) expects to again generate double-digit sales growth in North America in 2014, its head told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We have a very good position in the North American market, where we are establishing the premium segment. We should be able to generate double-digit growth there in 2014," Chief Executive and Chairman Ernst Tanner said in a telephone interview.

Lindt & Spruengli published a forecast-beating 8.6 percent rise in 2013 sales earlier on Tuesday, notably thanks to strong growth in the U.S. and Canada, and Tanner said the company's growth was mainly due to additional volumes.

"It's very difficult to impose higher prices in the current environment ... price increases will be moderate in 2014," he said.

He said he expected cocoa bean and butter prices to stabilize at current high levels, adding he didn't expect to see a shortage in the global cocoa bean supply.

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz)

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