Lindt & Sprüngli increases Sales and Profit
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Lindt & Sprüngli Group's business model once again proved to be very successful in the financial year 2022. Increasing consumer footfall in our own shops and in travel retail, as well as improvements in the supply chain in North America, were the drivers of increased profitability. This led to Group sales of CHF 4.97 billion and an EBIT margin of 15.0%. Operating profit (EBIT) increased by 15.5% year on year to CHF 744.6 million (previous year: CHF 644.9 million). Based on the positive results, Lindt & Sprüngli will continue its attractive dividend policy. The Board of Directors will propose a distribution to the 125th Ordinary Annual General Meeting of April 20, 2023, of CHF 1,300 (previous year: CHF 1,200) per registered share and CHF 130 (previous year: CHF 120) per participation certificate. For the first time since 2019, the Shareholders Meeting will once again be held in person at the traditional venue in the Kongresshaus Zurich.
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The Switzerland stock market, which emerged into positive territory after a weak start on Monday, retreated soon and spent the rest of the day's session in negative territory. Data showing an unexpected increase in Swiss consumer price inflation weighed on the market. The benchmark SMI ended the session with a loss of 42.84 points or 0.38% at 11,147.25, off the day's low of 11,137.94. The index advanced to a high of 11,203.67. Nestle ended 2.4% down. Givaudan, Roche Holding, Credit Suisse and Geberit lost 0.9 to 1.2%. Lonza Group drifted down 0.6%. Swiss Life Holding and Richemont surged 2.55% and 2.24%, respectively. Sonova climbed about 1.2%, while Partners Group and Swiss Re both gained nearly 1%. In the Mid Price Index, Belimo Holding tanked nearly 9%. Lindt & Spruengli ended 1.83% down, while Zur Rose, Ems Chemie Holding, Barry Callebaut, Galenica Sante and SGS lost 1.2 to 1.6%. Helvetia rallied about 4.5%. Tecan Group and Dufry gained 2.35% and 2.16%, respectively. AMS, VAT Group, Baloise Holding, Kuehne & Nagel and Swiss Prime Site gained 1 to 1.6%.
European stocks closed on a mixed note on Monday as investors largely stayed cautious, looking for fresh directional clues. A downward revision by China in its growth projection for the year weighed on sentiment. The pan European Stoxx 600 edged down 0.02%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 drifted down 0.22%, while Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 gained 0.48% and 0.34%, respectively. Switzerland's SMI fell 0.38%. Among other markets in Europe, Austria, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Turkiye closed higher. Belgium, Finland, Greece and Portugal ended weak, while Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands and Norway closed flat. In the UK market, Flutter Entertainment climbed 4.6% and Land Securities Group surged 3.4%. Airtel Africa, BT Group, Next, RightMove, British Land and Rolls Royce Holdings gained 2 to 3%. Beazley Plc shares shed more than 5%. Glencore, Ocado Group, Anglo American Plc, Rio Tinto, Pearson and Hiscox lost 2.7 to 4%. In the German market, Vonovia rallied nearly 4%. Daimler, SAP, Fresenius Medical Care, Commerzbank and Infineon Technologies gained 2 to 3%. Covestro ended more than 3% down. Puma, BASF, Volkswagen and Symrise lost 1.7 to 2%. In Paris, Michelin climbed nearly 2.5%. WorldLine, Societe Generale, Unibail Rodamco, LVMH, Orange, STMicroElectronics, BNP Paribas, Essilor and Engie gained 1 to 2%. Renault, ArcelorMittal, Eurofins Scientific and Air Liquide lost 1 to 1.6%. In economic news, Euro area investor confidence decreased more than expected in March as expectations deteriorated sharply despite receding fears of a recession, survey results from the behavioral research institute Sentix showed Monday.
U.S. stocks treaded water Monday, with investors awaiting Fed Chair Jerome Powell's congressional testimony on Tuesday and important labor market data at the end of the week. The S&P 500 inched up 2.78 points, or less than 0.1%, to 4048.42, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 40.47 points, or 0.1%, to 33431.44. The Nasdaq Composite slipped 13.27 points, or 0.1%, to 11675.74 . Stocks opened the session modestly higher before paring their advance in afternoon trading. All three major indexes climbed last week, with the Dow breaking a four-week losing streak. The indexes, however, are still down from their recent highs in February, when a string of economic reports suggested that the economy is stronger, and inflation is hotter, than many investors had previously believed. As a result of those reports, many investors are less confident now that the U.S. will enter a recession this year. But they also have become more concerned that the Fed will leave interest rates higher for longer. That has hurt stocks by in part increasing the relative attractiveness of ultrasafe assets such as U.S. Treasury bills. Shares of some technology giants, such as Apple and Microsoft, were a bright spot Monday. Apple's stock climbed $2.80, or 1.9%, to $153.83. On Sunday, Goldman Sachs analysts started coverage of the shares with a buy rating and a $199 price target over the next 12 months.
Across the board, the East Asian stock exchanges and in Sydney are going up on Tuesday. The gains ranged from 0.2 per cent in Shanghai to 1.2 per cent in Hong Kong. In Tokyo, the Nikkei index improved 0.3 per cent to 28,334 points. In Sydney, where trading has already ended with a plus of 0.5 per cent, the Australian central bank provided support. While it raised rates by another 25 basis points to 3.60 per cent, as widely expected, some participants interpreted the accompanying statements to mean that the interest rate peak could be near, traders reported.
There was no sustained support from the US bond market yesterday. There, the ten-year yield increased by 2.1 basis points to 3.98 per cent after a slight decline in the meantime.
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