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Cadbury issues upbeat trading statement

The management of Cadbury have surprised many in the city with a trading statement far more bullish than many had expected together with strong third-quarter sales growth and an increased profit forecast for the full year. The 7% increase in third-quarter sales comes on the back of a 4% increase in first-half sales which now places the pressure back on would-be suitor Kraft Foods which needs to make a formal bid by 9 November or be forced to walk away.

Cadbury shares are now trading at over eight pounds and while the company expressed confidence that it would be able to trade as an independent operation and effectively escape the clutches of any would-be suitors there are still some in the city who believe a deal will be done. It is well-known that Kraft Foods is looking to dispose of a number of its own assets to raise additional funding for the Cadbury acquisition but after today's announcement the pressure is certainly on Kraft Foods.

For a company which has for some time been fairly blasé about it relationship with investors and analysts this is a startling about turn by the Cadbury management although they themselves have been pushed into a corner by the unwanted attentions of their US suitor.

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