On the money
Food companies discuss and dissect their latest results.
Premier Foods plc has faced challenging conditions and weak sales in the first six months of the year. However, CEO Gavin Darby believes that a jump in the UK group's marketing investment and the roll-out of new products in the back half of the year will reverse its fortunes. Katy Askew reports.
As the dust settles after Cloetta's merger with Leaf, the company does face a battle eking out growth in its key markets. However, it has set its sights on small, bolt-on deals in niche categories, rather than pushing the boat out and setting sail for growth in emerging markets.
Mondelez International is focusing on its snacks business, cutting costs and separating out its coffee operations in a tie-up with D.E Master Blenders. The strategic shift is likely to reduce volatility and boost margins. But could it also increase the chances that Mondelez will itself become an acquisition target? Katy Askew reports.
Tyson Foods has seen sales and earnings growth lifted by consumer demand for proteins. The company has emphasised its strategy to grow organically, with a particular focus on prepared foods. However, Tyson also hopes to raise its growth trajectory through M&A - and here the group is coming up against some stiff competition. Katy Askew reports.
Tesco CEO Philip Clarke has conceded the growth of online grocery retailing in the UK has had a negative impact on the performance of its physical stores.
Lianhua Supermarket Holdings operates over 4,500 stores in China - a mix of hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores - and its 2013 financial results, issued last week, demonstrate how challenging trading conditions are - and how competitive retailing in the country has become.
Morrisons has set out its bid to win back consumers and reignite sales - and the UK's fourth-largest grocer has insisted it could hold its own in an increasingly price-focused market.
Marfrig CEO Sergio Rial was upbeat about the progress he saw at the Brazil-based meat processor yesterday (11 March), insisting the company was "more stable" than in previous years despite falling into the red in 2013.
Upmarket UK grocer Waitrose has enjoyed another strong 12 months. Waitrose's reputation for quality has resonated in a polarised market, while the retailer has kept its eye on price with schemes such as brand match scheme targeting Tesco. Waitrose expects another solid year as the economy improves and is prepared to roll up its sleeves should Tesco sharpen its pricing pencil. Dean Best reports.
Now Premier Foods has emerged from the shadow its its debt burden with a refinancing package that includes a "landmark" deal with its pension trustees, the UK food group plans to use its stable of brands in growth categories to drive top-line expansion.
Danone plans to improve its sales mix through product innovation to offset margin pressure across its markets in 2014, a year in which it now expects margins will not grow as much as it had expected.
Casino's share price has been on something of a rollercoaster in the early weeks of 2014. However, the French retailer's 2013 results and optimism for the months ahead seemed to be echoed by the market today (18 February) with its stock recovering some of the ground it had lost since the start of the year.
In the year or so since Mondelez International was formed, the Cadbury owner's sales performance has, generally, fallen below expectations. Some in the market believed company's sales target was too ambitious, given the slowdown in its key snacks categories around the world. Reflecting on its 2013 performance and 2014 outlook, Mondelez appears to have rejigged its sales goals to follow market performance more closely.
Kellogg is set to focus its energies on boosting the profile of its namesake "master brand" in a bid to regain market share.
Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner has said the UK online retailer is still looking to further develop licencing deals with larger retailers, although he emphasised there are no "imminent announcements" on any pending agreements.
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