* Boosts share buyback by $6 bln to $13.7 bln
* Forecasts 2015 organic revenue to grow at least 3 pct
* Shares hit record high of $45.22 (Adds details from conference call, updates shares)
July 30 (Reuters) - Mondelez International Inc, the maker of Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by lower costs and raised its share buyback plan by $6 billion.
The company’s shares touched a record high of $45.22 on Thursday, after it also raised its full-year revenue growth forecast.
Mondelez said it expects organic net revenue to grow at least 3 percent for the year, up 1 percent from its prior forecast, boosted by price increases and higher spending on advertising.
The company will spend more to promote its products in markets such as Europe and India, where demand has been hit after it raised chocolate prices last year, Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld said on a conference call with analysts.
Higher cocoa and dairy prices forced the company to raise the price of its chocolates and coffee in some markets, leading to a backlash from some retailers and customers.
The company is trying to woo customers in India by offering them more chocolate pack sizes at different price points, while price gaps with competing brands in Europe are narrowing as rivals have also been forced to raise prices, Rosenfeld added.
Sales in Europe, Mondelez’s biggest market, fell 16.7 percent to $2.82 billion in the second quarter ended June 30 from a year earlier.
Mondelez also said it would stop including results from its coffee operations from its next quarterly report. The business was spun off into a joint venture with Dutch group D.E Master Blenders to create the world’s biggest standalone coffee company this month.
Mondelez said its buyback plan, under which it would now buy $13.7 billion of shares, would expire on Dec. 31, 2018.
Excluding items, the company earned 47 cents per share in the second quarter, handily beating the average analyst estimate of 39 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Mondelez has taken several measures to cut costs, including shutting factories and “zero-based budgeting,” which requires managers to justify every expense in each new budgeting period.
Net income attributable to the company fell 35 percent to $406 million, or 25 cents per share, in the quarter.
Net revenue fell for the seventh straight quarter to $7.66 billion, down 9.2 percent from a year earlier, but beat the average estimate of $7.49 billion.
Organic net revenue, however, rose 4.3 percent, helped by the price increases.
Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru, Editing by Anil D'Silva and Simon Jennings