Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

By just-food.com | 12 November 2010

Campbell CEO Doug Conant issued a profit warning for the business this week

Campbell CEO Doug Conant issued a profit warning for the business this week

The news was not good for Campbell Soup Co. and Dean Foods this week, with the former announcing a profit warning for the year and the latter facing speculation that it would have to sell off some of its divisions after a tough year. Meanwhile in retail, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury's revealed renewed international ambitions. Here's the best of what was said this week.

"Our increased promotional spending in the first quarter behind US soup did not produce the planned volume gains. This result was due in part to even deeper soup promotions by competitors, which we chose not to match" - Campbell Soup Co. president and CEO Doug Conant (pictured) on why the company issued a profit warning for the full year.

"Somebody early on in my career told me not to answer too many theoretical questions" - Dean Foods CEO Gregg Engles avoids answering questions on whether the company will spin off its WhiteWave-Alpro division.

"Normally a disposal is accompanied by an acquisition, you swap a part of the portfolio. So I think the way that the City would look at it is, if Danone is selling [the water business], why is it selling it now particulary, is it because there is something else that they might like to buy?" - Credit Suisse Securities analyst Charles Mills on suggestions that Danone might sell its water division.

"We really benefit from these much, much higher prices in China. They went two years ago to a low point more like CNY3,000 a tonne - they are nearly at CNY8,000 a tonne now. We're benefiting from that" - Associated British Foods CFO John Bason on the soaring price of sugar in China.

"We will immediately, upon closing, begin to improve the efficiency of this platform by investing in excess of US$1bn in bakeries, technology and infrastructure over the next five years" - Gary Prince, president of Bimbo Bakeries USA on its acquisition of Sara Lee's North American bakery business.

"India we will come to look at. We are not investing resources in it yet. We will probably look at that and some of the other developing markets," Sainsbury's development director Darren Shapland on the company's international ambitions.

"The sale is taking place as part of our strategy in the chilled-products segment, under which we shall be focusing on our core business, the production and distribution of desserts" - Oetker chairman Richard Oetker on his company selling its Onken business to Emmi.

"While there is no denying that the plans will take time to deliver, and will no doubt will cause some pain in terms of execution along the way, they move M&S in the right direction and will help create a stronger, more ambitious business that has greater relevance and resonance on the UK high street and beyond" - Datamonitor analyst Neil Saunders on Marks and Spencer's restructuring plans.

"Tata is a great company, a nation building company. Ratan's a great guy and you know the Tata's themselves are a phenomenal company. Unfortunately I am running a phenomenal company myself and I love doing what I am doing." - PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi on whether she would consider succeeding Ratan Tata, the president of Tata Global Beverages.

"Ukraine has a milk crisis, producing less milk every year" - Dario Marchetti, CEO of Danone Ukraine on why the company is opening its fifth agricultural co-operative in a year.

Sectors: Canned food, Cereal, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Dairy, Dried foods, Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions, Retail

Companies: Danone, Campbell Soup Co., Dean Foods, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Associated British Foods, Sara Lee, Emmi, PepsiCo

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