Smithfield CEO Larry Pope addressed analysts on the release of its fourth-quarter results

Smithfield CEO Larry Pope addressed analysts on the release of its fourth-quarter results

In the UK, the increasing level of couponing in retail set the industry talking this week as Tesco CEO Philip Clarke noted the step-up in this type of promotion, while industry analysts gave their views on this growing trend. Elsewhere, Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope insisted the group is under-valued after shares in the meat firm fell more than 7% after fourth-quarter results that failed to meet analyst expectations.

"There has generally been an unhelpful step-up in the market of this type of promotion. We played our part in it as we planned to. If you stand by and do nothing, you leave the door open for others," he said. "It isn't the long-term solution. That's about getting the right blend of price, promotions, quality and service" - Tesco CEO Philip Clarke criticises the increased use of coupons across the industry

"If you look at the detail behind the headline numbers, in the quarter, our 1.4% growth would actually be a better beat to the market than our 2.6% was in quarter four" - Sainsbury's CEO Justin King says it is more important to look at how the retailer performed compared to its rivals in what was a "softer" market than in the previous quarter

"We believe that Wall Street does not appreciate the changes that the company has made over the past several years. And I am willing to put my money where my mouth is" - Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope insists the group is under-valued after shares in the meat firm fell more than 7% after fourth-quarter results that failed to meet analyst expectations

"Arla's products will reach more Chinese consumers to a degree I would consider a breakthrough for the Arla brand in China" - Arla CEO Peder Tuborgh on strengthening its ties with Chinese dairy group Mengniu

"Sarson's and Haywards are beloved by consumers and we look forward to investing in the brands and adding to their legacy. They fit well with our global portfolio, are an excellent strategic fit and provide a solid foundation for growth in the UK" - Mizkan CEO Kazuhide Matazaemon Nakano on its purchase of Premier Food Plc's vinegar and sour pickles business

"We would like to think we are in there for the long run. If we can build up some brand equity early on, the average Chinese or Indian consumer will recognise and understand Tyrrells, hopefully that will gain traction for us three or four years down the track" - Laurence Bass, head of Tyrrell's international arm acknowledges the retail sector in countries like China and India remained under-developed but hopes Tyrrells early entry into those markets will benefit the business in time

"Our demands are not exorbitant but management is choosing to turn a deaf ear" - a CGT union official on negotiations with Nestlé in France over salary increases

"Mexico is the initial launch of the brand but there is potential for further expansion" - a spokesperson for PepsiCo and Strauss indicate the Obela brand could be launched in other countries

"We reaffirm our commitment to the Greek and Cypriot markets alongside our employees and suppliers who have helped make Carrefour Marinopoulos the leading retail banner in Greece" - Leonidas Marinopoulos, president of Marinopoulos on it becoming the exclusive franchisee of Carrefour in Greece

"The promotional drug for suppliers is a necessary evil or its a less worse option, so to speak, to supporting volumes" - Shore Capital analyst Clive Black on the increasing use of couponing by retailers