The confectionery companies Oy Panda Ab and Cloetta AB (publ) have signed a sales and distribution agreement.
Under the agreement, Panda will sell and distribute Cloetta’s brands in Finland starting on 1 January 2009. In the spring of 2009 Cloetta will begin selling and distributing products from Panda in Sweden. Panda is one of Finland’s best known confectionery companies, with a market share of around 8%.
“We see major potential for Cloetta’s widely appreciated products in the Finnish market and feel secure in having Panda as our partner,” says Curt Petri, Managing Director of Cloetta. “The sales and distribution agreement with Panda is an important part of our growth strategy. Cloetta’s brands are a cherished Swedish tradition and we have excellent scope to further develop our business and advance our position in the Nordic market,” adds Curt Petri.
Cloetta is the Nordic region’s oldest chocolate manufacturer and has a particularly strong position in the Swedish market, but also a distinct presence in Norway and Denmark. Cloetta’s products are manufactured at the company’s own factories in Ljungsbro and Alingsås, Sweden.
“At Panda, we are very pleased at the opportunity to continue selling some of Sweden’s best loved products in Finland. Center and Polly have enjoyed high popularity in Finland for several years and we believe that many consumers will be relieved to see these products remain on the candy shelf,” says Ami Wardi, Managing Director of Panda. “In addition, Cloetta’s products are an ideal complement to our own product portfolio and the partnership in Sweden represents a significant step forward for Panda’s business in the Swedish market,” continues Ami Wardi.
Panda was founded in 1920 and has longstanding experience in production, sales and marketing of chocolate and licorice products under the Panda brand. Panda is Finland’s #1 licorice brand, with a share of approximately 40% of the Finnish licorice market. The Panda factory is located in central Finland and together with its sister company FelixAbba, Panda has a well developed distribution and sales network in the country.
Founded in 1862, Cloetta is the oldest chocolate manufacturer in the Nordic region. The company’s best known brands are Kexchoklad, Center, Plopp, Polly, Tarragona, Guldnougat, Bridge, Juleskum, Sportlunch and Extra Starka. Cloetta has two production units in Sweden, one in Ljungsbro and one in Alingsås. For the period from 1 September 2007 to 31 August 2008, Cloetta reported pro forma net sales of approximately SEK 930 million. As of 8 December 2008 Cloetta’s class B shares are traded on NASDAQ OMX First North, with E. Öhman J:or Fondkommission AB as Certified Adviser.
The confectionery company Oy Panda Ab was founded in 1920 and is today part of the Norwegian Orkla group. Panda’s key market areas, aside from the Finnish home market, are the other Nordic countries, North America, Great Britain and Central Europe. The company’s top-selling brands in Finland are Panda licorice, LakuMix, Panda Pepe and Juhlapöydän konvehdit (Assorted Chocolates). In 2007 Panda reported net sales of EUR 52.3 million.