Yowie shares drop on weak US sales growth

Confectionery maker Yowie Group’s stocks have fallen to a three-and-a-half year low after it posted full-year sales revenue growth of 51 per cent – short of its forecast of 55 per cent – and suffered near-flat sales in its key US market.

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Yowie said sales growth in the US was “essentially flat” at one per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016/17 at $US3.48 million ($A4.39 million) as a rise in convenience and grocery store sales was offset by a drop in sales in its largest retailer.

But the company said sales of Yowie products in Australia have continued to exceed expectations since they returned to shelves in February, with $US755,000 ($A952,735) in local sales in the fourth quarter.

The figures, revealed in a statement of Yowies fourth quarter results on Tuesday, bring the company’s unaudited sales for the year to June 30, 2017, to $US19.48 million ($A24.58 million).

Yowie reaffirmed it expects total sales growth for 2017/18 to be between 55 and 70 per cent.

Chief executive Bert Alfonso says the company still plans to grow by expanding its distribution in the US and entering other key markets.

Its US growth will include it launching a new brand of chocolates in its largest retailer in the first quarter of 2017/18, after the launch was delayed from the fourth quarter of 2016/17, he said.

“We remain confident regarding the prospects for the Yowie brand in both the US and selective international markets,” Mr Alfonso said.

Yowie Group shares finished Tuesday down five cents – a 16.7 per cent drop – at 25 cents, their lowest level since January, 2014.