Sales growth at a 10-year high and the disposal of European and US businesses gave Cadbury Schweppes profits that were ahead of forecasts. Its pre-tax profits rose 13 per cent to £873 million last year with sales increasing by seven per cent to £6.51 billion. The company is organised in four regional operating units, supported by six global functions, one of which is finance and information technology. It is now over halfway through a four-year plan, which began in 2003. The plan includes growing revenue by three to five per cent a year and improving profit margins by 50-75 basis points per annum. Last year Cadbury Schweppes sold its European beverages business for £1.26bn to a private equity group and has concentrated instead on brands like Green & Black’s organic products, which it bought in 2005. Last year sales for the brand increased by nearly 50 per cent.

Todd Stitzer, CEO of Cadbury Schweppes, stated in the annual review that the company had refined its supply chains and will continue to use innovation to drive growth. The company has been in the middle of a global SAP implementation, and the UK system went live last summer.

On innovation Stitzer said: “In 2004 we introduced a rigorous innovation management process, which enabled us to take a common approach to innovation decision making. Building on this process in 2005 we put in place a new software tool which facilitates the sharing and roll-out of new innovations across the business.”