* Says group should be able to reach 2011 targets
* Hopeful for Christmas but some retailers cautious
* Says very confident for 2012
(Adds details, CEO quotes)
By Silke Koltrowitz
ZURICH, Nov 14 Switzerland's chocolate
maker Lindt & Spruengli is optimistic it can
reach its targets this year and is upbeat for 2012, Chief
Executive Ernst Tanner said on Monday.
"I believe we'll have a good year," Tanner said at an event
at the company's headquarters in Zurich. "We should be able to
reach our targets."
Lindt & Spruengli is aiming for 6-8 percent organic sales
growth this year.
Tanner said hot weather in Europe in spring and autumn had
been a challenge for chocolate makers. "I don't believe we'll
have such extreme weather conditions next year. We are very
confident for next year," he said.
He also said he believed the company, which officially
launched gold-foil wrapped Christmas teddy bears on Monday to
match the success of its Easter bunnies, would be able to win
market share during the Christmas period.
This year's Christmas sales are in the spotlight as markets
fear shoppers might not spend as much as last year as they worry
about the euro zone debt crisis.
"It is not the consumer who does not want to spend money on
chocolate in this pre-Christmas period, it's the trade. In some
countries, retailers are quite pessimistic," Tanner said,
without giving further details.
Chocolate maker Barry Callebaut said last week it
expected growth in the chocolate confectionary market to slow to
1-2 percent next year.