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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cadbury Posts Growth

LONDON -- British confectionery and soft drinks group Cadbury Schweppes PLC reported a 9 percent rise in annual profits Wednesday, led by its U.S soft drink unit, and said it was confident of further growth this year.

The group, which produces Dr. Pepper and 7-Up sparkling drinks in the United States and Dairy Milk chocolate, reported annual underlying pretax profits of pounds 686 million ($1.09 billion) for the 52 weeks to Jan. 2, on sales up 5 percent at pounds 4.30 billion.

It reported underlying soft-drink volumes up 6 percent with its Dr. Pepper/7- Up soft-drinks division in the United States gaining market share, while its key chocolate companies grew profits by an average of 9 percent.

"We achieved robust increases in underlying profits, margins and earnings in 1999. After an indifferent start, the performance of the business improved throughout the year. Our overall portfolio was strengthened as we completed a number of important strategic developments. We are confident of further growth and progress in 2000," chairman Dominic Cadbury said in a statement.