On the money
Food companies discuss and dissect their latest results.
General Mills this week reported another quarter of falling sales, leading industry watchers to wonder if the US food giant will lessen its focus on its margin target but, more critically, whether the company can revitalise its top line. Hannah Abdulla reports.
Kellogg's decision to end the direct store delivery (DSD) of its snacks in the US is expected to give the company's profitability some momentum, with the Cheez-It owner saying the move would leave it better placed to grow revenues from that part of its business. However, the Pringles maker faces an uphill challenge to turn around declining sales trends. Katy Askew reports.
Mondelez International has delivered a lacklustre set of 2016 numbers but the snacks giant, which has been buffered by a challenging operating environment, stressed it continues to improve adjusted operating margins. With the entrance of 3G Capital into the food sector, margins have become a key metric for a number of the major names in the industry but Mondelez's results left some wondering if a focus on margins can hamper top-line growth. Katy Askew reports.
Hershey's 2016 results and 2017 outlook, issued on Friday (3 February), suggested both a stronger finish to the year than the preceding nine months had suggested and confidence on this year's earnings above that seen on Wall Street. Nevertheless, analysts still had questions on Hershey's earnings expectations, on its performance in China and on its plans for its cost structure. Dean Best reports.
Cloetta, the Swedish snack maker, reported a loss for 2016 this morning (1 February) primarily due to an impairment charge related to its Italian business. Speaking to analysts during a conference call, however, management was upbeat on the progress it has made in strengthening profitability. Cloetta said it hopes to continue to expand its margins over the coming 12 months and revealed that it wants to grow sales – both organically and through M&A – during 2017. Here are the key takeaways from Cloetta's 2016 results.
Unilever delivered sluggish sales but stronger-than-expected margins when it reported its full-year results today (26 January). The company's revenue was buffeted by issues like demonetisation in India and economic crisis in Brazil during the tail-end of 2016. While management believes such headwinds will lead to a slower start to 2017 - an outlook that hit Unilever's shares today - the group does expect things to pick up as the year progresses. just-food take a look at Unilever's strategy for growth this year.
The pressure on Aryzta has grown this week after the Switzerland-based bakery giant issued a surprise profit warning, sending its shares tumbling and sparking speculation about the future of the company's senior management. Dean Best reports.
Kraft Heinz's third-quarter results won praise from some on Wall Street but the US food giant still faced questions about its performance in Europe. The company pinpointed the UK as a problem area and outlined its plans to breathe fresh life into its business in the country.
TreeHouse Foods lowered its full-year earnings forecast, sending shares in the US own-label supplier tumbling. The company said it was forced to cut its outlook due to a weaker-than-expected performance from the private-label business it acquired from US peer ConAgra Foods earlier this year. just-food takes a look at what has gone wrong – and what action TreeHouse is taking to right itself.
Danone's underlying third-quarter sales fell below market expectations amid challenges in China. Regulatory changes in China are weighing on Danone's infant formula business in the country but, broadly, analysts are comfortable about the prospects for that part of the French giant's business and, overall, the group's wider prospects.
ConAgra Foods, the US group set to split in two companies with one focusing on brands, is putting more emphasis "on volume over value" after being "overly reliant on deep discounting", a strategy that had led consumers to associated some of its products with deals, CEO Sean Connolly has said.
Aryzta, the Switzerland-based bakery products supplier, this week reported a drop in annual profits, although it managed to eke out some growth on its top line. The company has faced challenges in North America in recent quarters and the numbers bore that out, with sales boosted by its businesses outside that region. just-food presents the key takeaways from Aryzta's results and looks at how the company's views its prospects for the new financial year.
General Mills booked a 7% drop in first-quarter net sales last week, with sales down 4% on an organic basis. The US company has repeatedly insisted it is taking action to address problem areas in its portfolio, such as yogurt and cereal. But this latest set of numbers underline the challenges the group faces. Here are just-food's key takeaway's from General Mills' first-quarter results.
Campbell Soup Co.'s shares slid in the wake of the release of the US company's annual results, which included lower sales and earnings - but improved profitability on an "adjusted" basis. The numbers revealed issues with the company's Campbell Fresh division, key to its bid to accelerate growth while its flagship business remains sluggish. The announcement also included guidance for the 2016/2017 financial year that disappointed analysts.
Embattled Australian milk processor Murray Goulburn reported its full-year results this week. The company, which part-listed on the Australian stock exchange to raise capital during the period, was rounding off a difficult 12 months, during which it cut payments to its farmer-owners, issued a series of profit warnings and announced the departures of its CEO and CFO. The group's much-anticipated financial update revealed lower sales but the firm managed to hit its revised profit target, which had been lowered earlier in the year. Here are just-food's key takeaways.
- Analysis: Post discusses rationale for Weetabix
- Interview: Sir Kensington's on sale to Unilever
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Column: Why snacking is the new meal
- Who will buy Danone's Stonyfield business?
- Unilever buys US condiments maker Sir Kensington's
- Ice cream helps Unilever sales, food flat
- Suntory to offload Australia, New Zealand foods
- Nestle organic growth slows but beats expectations
- Post: Weetabix "opens up M&A opportunities"