Quote unquote: just-food's week in words

By Sam Webb | 13 January 2012

Major UK retailers reported a bit of a mixed Christmas, with Tesco's shares sliding following a trading announcement, while Sainsbury's claimed a "record-breaking" festive period. The fortunes of US baker Hostess Brands are more clear cut. The company this week entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for a second time.

"I feel like I'm in control" - Tesco CEO Philip Clarke brushes off criticism after the retailer's like-for-like sales in the UK fell again in the run-up to Christmas.

"Any way you to choose to slice the data...our performance is the best of all the major grocers" - Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King hails what the retailer called its best ever Christmas.

"With consumer confidence at a generational low, you're going to a sector that has very low like-for-likes" - Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips is cautious about the prospects for UK food retailers in 2012.

"Hostess has some of our industry's most powerful and resilient brands" - Hostess president and chief executive officer Brian Driscoll said its business as usual for the twice-bankrupted snacks firm.

"These actions will help us enhance our productivity and earnings power" - Archer Daniels Midland chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz after the agribusiness cut 1,000 jobs.

"We are disgusted that these few producers are still using banned barren battery cages" - British Egg Industry Council chairman Andrew Parker on the news that 30 UK egg producers are ignoring an EU ban.

"For a retailer, it is never an easy decision to close stores as we are fully aware of the impact on our associates, our customers and the communities we serve" - Delhaize Group CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers reacts after the retailer announced 5,000 jobs will go.

"We have always been, and are now, in constructive discussions with our franchisees to ensure that the relationships develop with the environment around us" - an Albert Hiejn spokesman plays down reports of a row with franchisers.

"It would seem that Unilever believed the workers would give up after one day's strike but they are badly mistaken" - Jennie Formby, national officer of Unite, as more strikes over Unilever's changes to its pension plan loom.

"The second quarter was significantly below expectations" - Cargill chairman and CEO Greg Page on the businesses' worst-ever quarter.

Sectors: Bakery, Commodities & ingredients, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Dried foods, Financials, Frozen, Ice cream, Private label, Retail, Snacks

Companies: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Hostess Brands, Archer Daniels Midland, Unilever, Delhaize Group, Cargill

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