On the money
Food companies discuss and dissect their latest results.
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.
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' 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'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 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.
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 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.
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