On the money
Food companies discuss and dissect their latest results.
Nestle missed analyst expectations for its sales growth today (16 October), when the world's largest food maker reported sales of CHF64.8bn (US$73.8bn) for the nine months to the end of September. The 2% decline was steeper than analysts had expected, with consensus forecasts predicting a sales dip of 0.8%. The closely watched organic growth rate also failed to meet expectations, with analysts predicting a 4.7% gain versus Nestle's organic growth of 4.2%. Here are 10 key points to take away from Nestle's year-to-date performance.
Unilever beat market expectations with a stellar third-quarter sales update this morning (15 October). However, with growth driven by its lower margin refreshments unit, could this put pressure on Unilever's group margin? Katy Askew reports.
Kraft Heinz Co. last week gave some indication of the financial performance of its constituent parts when the newly-formed company published second-quarter numbers for the former Kraft Foods and HJ Heinz, the last periods as independent entities before the merger closed in July. Lacklustre sales trends remain but the group is also positioned to meet its long-term margin potential and could emerge a beneficiary of potential sector consolidation. Katy Askew reports.
WhiteWave Foods raised its full-year earnings forecast after reporting growth across the majority of its businesses. However, the outlook for the Earthbound Farm and Silk owner's packaged fresh and premium dairy businesses in the US appears somewhat challenging.
That China is central to Hershey's challenges at the moment was underlined on Friday after the US confectioner booked a second-quarter loss of almost US$100m following an impairment charge on local subsidiary Shanghai Golden Monkey.
Actions taken on pricing and moves to improve productivity appear to be paying off for Mondelez International.
Mead Johnson's business in China has come under pressure and was a factor in the US infant formula group's profit warning earlier this month. Low dairy costs and downbeat consumer sentiment have sparked fierce competition on price and Mead Johnson is uncertain when conditions will ease. But it insists it is investing for long-term growth in the country.
Unilever has said it wants to move its food business to a new growth phase by investing in areas that offer the greatest top-line potential in emerging and developed markets.
General Mills has been hit by category softness and changing consumer preferences at its US business. With US retail sales representing the group's largest revenue stream, this has weighed on the group's overall results and addressing these issues is a priority for the Cheerios maker. But are General Mills' product innovation and renovation plans enough to get the top line moving in the US? Katy Askew investigates.
ConAgra Foods announced that it will sell off its loss-making private label business yesterday (30 June) in a move that, the company said, will help unlock value for its shareholders. But selling off private brands is about more than offloading an asset that is a challenging turnaround story. New CEO Sean Connolly insists it is about putting ConAgra back on the road to growth. Katy Askew reports.
Dairy Crest chief executive Mark Allen said today (21 May) he is "confident" the group's disposal of its struggling dairies business to Muller Wiseman Dairies will gain competition approval. The group's full-year results, released earlier this morning, show exactly why this sale is vital to Dairy Crest's performance.
Rationalisation of SKUs and innovation will continue to form a big part of Premier Foods plc's focus for 2015, CEO Gavin Darby has said.
Confectionery giant Hershey saw sales in China come under pressure in the first quarter of 2015, a result of the government crackdown on gifting and macro-economic factors in the country. Hershey does not expect to turn this around soon, but insists it is putting the "right" things in place to secure its long-term growth in China. Hannah Abdulla reports.
Danone's fresh dairy sales struggled throughout 2014. Nevertheless, as the world's largest dairy manufacturer, the company believes it can lead the category back to growth in stagnant markets like Europe and the US. Katy Askew reports.
Kellogg appeared to be getting real yesterday and slashed long-term sales targets, following yet another set of disappointing numbers that suggested the road to recovery for its core cereal category could be a long one.
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