Net profit recurring7 amounted to CHF 428.5 million, an increase of +14.1% in local currencies compared to prior year. The reported Net profit amounted to CHF 360.9 million, down -4.7% in local currencies. Good cash flow generation continued with an adjusted Free cash flow8 of CHF 358.5 million, compared to CHF 314.9 million in the prior fiscal year.
Based on these strong recurring results, the Board of Directors will propose a stable dividend of CHF 28.00 per share at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, on December 14, 2022. This corresponds to a temporarily increased payout ratio of 43% of the reported Net profit.
In 2021/22, we again achieved a number of exciting milestones across all four pillars of our growth strategy. We further boosted our Expansion in North America by celebrating the groundbreaking of a new factory in Brantford, Canada. Upon completion, the site will focus on sugar-free, high protein, and other specialty chocolate products. In April 2022, we extended our strategic supply agreement with Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest baked goods company, for North and Central America. We also entered a long-term distribution agreement with Levapan to drive expansion in Latin America. In EMEA, we put our distribution network on a new level by opening 'The Chocolate Box' in Lokeren, Belgium, the world’s largest and most sustainable chocolate warehouse. In Morocco, we opened a CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ Center in Casablanca, raising the global number of Academies to 26, and signed a partnership with distributor and manufacturer Attelli, which establishes our first chocolate production footprint in Morocco and consequently on the African continent. In Asia Pacific, we celebrated our 15-year presence in China by opening our new centrally-located Greater China headquarters as well as a flagship CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ Center in Shanghai.
This year saw groundbreaking Innovation coming to life. We introduced a breakthrough innovation, redesigning how chocolate is made, thanks to advances to the process of farming, fermenting and roasting cocoa beans. The recipe for the new chocolate is as short as it can be: Dark chocolate is made from only cocoa and sugar. Earlier this fiscal year, we launched Callebaut NXT, a 100% plant-based and dairyfree chocolate, yet with the creaminess of traditional chocolates. We also unveiled Elix, a cacaofruit elixir with related health claim which makes it the first nutraceutical fruit drink.
6 Source: Nielsen volume growth excluding e-commerce – 25 countries, September 2021 to August 2022, data subject to adjustment to match Barry Callebaut’s reporting period. Nielsen data only partially reflects the out-of-home and impulse consumption.
7 Please refer to page 175 for the detailed recurring results reconciliation.
8 Free cash flow adjusted for the cash flow impact of cocoa bean inventories regarded by the Group as readily marketable inventories (RMI).