On the money

On the money

Food companies discuss and dissect their latest results.



Murray Goulburn on FY results, suppliers, product mix and savings – 7 things to learn 26 Aug 2016

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. Over the past year, Murray Goulburn has cut payments to its farmer-owners and issued a series of profit warnings as it grappled with lower global commodity costs and an intensely competitive domestic consumer market. Controversy over Murray Goulburn's profitablity and the decision to list prompted CEO and managing director, Gary Helou, and its CFO, Brad Hingle, to resign from their positions in April. 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 from the update.


Nestle on China, confectionery challenge and nutrition slowdown – 5 things to learn  19 Aug 2016

Delivering its first-half numbers yesterday (18 August), Nestle reported a stronger operating performance but a sluggish organic growth rate. Here are just-food's five takeaways from the company's results.


Kellogg on new targets, zero-based budgeting, managing revenue and Q2 results - 5 Things to Learn 11 Aug 2016

Kellogg last week announced mixed second-quarter results, with growth in underlying operating profit above analyst expectations but reported revenue missing forecasts on Wall Street and underlying sales declining. However, the Special K and Pringles maker lifted its forecast for underlying earnings per share for 2016 - and raised its target for underlying operating margin for 2017/18. Its shares closed up on the day. just-food provides the most important talking points from what was a detailed announcement.


Mondelez International on China, Hershey and Q2 results - 6 Things to Learn 28 Jul 2016

Mondelez International yesterday (28 July) reported its second-quarter and half-year numbers, leading to the US snacks giant's shares sliding almost 3% in the New York. The Oreo maker's operating margins and underlying earnings per share beat analyst forecasts - but growth in revenues on organic basis was weak and the company is now less certain about its forecast for annual sales. There was also plenty for Mondelez to discuss beyond the financials, notably its push into chocolate in China and its interest in Hershey.


PepsiCo performance wows with surprising sparkle 8 Jul 2016

As PepsiCo's leadership team presented the group's results yesterday (7 July) they could have summed up their core message to investors with a blast from the past: "You've got a lot to live, and Pepsi's got a lot to give". That slogan from the early 1970s would be too tame for today's app hungry consumers and investors who demand infinite fizz in terms of products, ideas and healthy dollar returns. But the slogan did sum up the mood as PepsiCo reported second-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates and the firm boosted its full-year forecast, helped by rising sales of snacks and soft drinks in North America.


General Mills to invest in "growth businesses" - will it boost sales? 30 Jun 2016

General Mills is the owner of US legacy food brands that have been hard hit by sweeping changes to consumption. The company, which has tried break into growth areas such as natural and organic, revealed yesterday (29 June) it will start to prioritise its investment behind the 75% of its portfolio it has identified as "growth businesses". Will this approach prove effective? Katy Askew investigates. 


Can Smucker revive food sales? - analysis 13 Jun 2016

JM Smucker booked higher full-year earnings last week despite a drop in revenue from its food brands. With coffee and pet food outpacing Smucker's packaged food business, can the company lift the performance of its spreads-to-snacks brands? 


Hershey Q1 results, outlook and latest M&A - the top takeaways 27 Apr 2016

Hershey's first-quarter results contained a triple whammy yesterday (26 April) as the confectioner reported falling sales and earnings, cuts to forecasts for 2016 and upped its cost savings targets from 2017. The company's results were hit by continued pressure in China and challenges in North America. Hershey, however, announced the acquisition of snacks brand BarkThins and, on a conference call with investors, the Reese's owner appeared confident it was taking the right steps to improve its performance.


How Danone is winning "key battles" en route to 2020 aims 19 Apr 2016

Danone insisted this morning (19 April) it is winning "key battles" in its bid to raise its sales and earnings trajectories by 2020. The French food maker flagged higher sales from its US dairy business in the first quarter of this year and predicted ongoing improvements from its European dairy operations. Danone also insisted the fundamentals of its Chinese infant nutrition business are solid despite recent challenges. Katy Askew reports.


Flowers Foods: is it time to reappraise strategy at the US bakery group? 12 Feb 2016

Flowers Foods' share price fell almost 20% yesterday (11 February) after the US bakery group booked fourth-quarter earnings that failed to hit analyst expectations. Sales softness and pending litigation prompted some to question whether the firm is overreaching. The real concern, however, is Flowers is pursuing a fundamentally flawed strategy. Katy Askew reports.


Kellogg seeing progress on US cereal but snacks in doldrums 12 Feb 2016

Kellogg's US business weighed on its results in 2015 but the company insisted its troubled US cereal business was seeing signs of improvement. However, the group's domestic snacks arm is under pressure. Hannah Abdulla reports.


Mondelez International's 2015 results and outlook for 2016 - 7 things to learn 4 Feb 2016

Mondelez International's shares took a tumble yesterday on the back of its 2015 numbers and its forecasts for 2016 - and were down again today. Chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld called the last 12 months "a year of very strong results" and, although conceding volumes would again be under pressure, forecast further improvement in profitability. What should we take away from the figures and from its outlook for the months ahead? Dean Best investigates.


How is Unilever preparing for a difficult 2016? 19 Jan 2016

Conditions for global packaged food manufacturers in 2015 were challenging. According to the assessment of Unilever, 2016 looks set to get worse. So how is the ice cream-to-condiments manufacturer preparing? 


Nestle's sales miss - 10 things to learn 16 Oct 2015

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's sales are up, will margins follow? 15 Oct 2015

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. 


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