Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

By Hannah Abdulla | 17 February 2014

Rodkin said investors should still be confident about ConAgras long-term prospects

Rodkin said investors should still be confident about ConAgra's long-term prospects

Nestle and Mondelez International were among the major food manufacturers reporting 2013 results last week, although perhaps the most notable financial update was ConAgra Foods' second profit warning in five months. Elsewhere, there was speculation over the future ownership of UK grocer Morrisons and United Biscuits continued its international expansion with an investment in Nigeria.

"While the challenges this year have been unfavourable surprises for our investors and our team, I want to be clear that nothing has changed with regard to our conviction about our long-term potential and EPS growth prospects" - ConAgra Foods CEO Gary Rodkin assures that while the company has lowered it's financial outlook, he is confident Ralcorp will seal its EPS growth success.

"Premiumisation is expressed by defining more nutritional benefits; it is defined by taste; it is linked with systems and services; it is increased personalisation. It is premiumisation in different aspects that creates value for our company" - Nestle chairman and CEO Paul Bulcke outlines where he sees opportunities for growth for the world's largest food maker.

"It appears clear to us that Mondelez is finally transitioning off its absolute 5-7% growth range, and instead moving rapidly towards a category growth/market share top-line algorithm – not just for 2014, but also over the longer term. In other words, Mondelez is marking to market growth" - Barclays Capital analyst Andrew Lazar reflects on Mondelez International's shift of long-term sales target.

"It is Africa's most populous country and the biscuit market is projected to continue to grow at double digit rates" - Jeff van der Eems, CEO of United Biscuits' international arm, says Nigeria offers strong potential following the UK snacks group's investment in a local biscuit firm A&P Foods.

"We would expect a number of serious private-equity investors to be running the rule over Morrisons" - Shore Capital analyst Clive Black after reports said the Morrison family and still-shareholder in the UK grocer had approached private-equity firms to see if there was interest in a bid for the business.

"The scale of this continuing investment means the site would potentially not be viable in the long term" - a spokesperson for UK manufacturer 2 Sisters Food Group Sisters indicates its Solway plant may be at risk closure following the loss of the M&S contract.

"Clif is a long-standing and well-respected competitor in the nutritional bar marketplace, which makes this imminent release of a copy-cat product particularly disappointing" - Daniel Lubetzky, founder of US snacks firm Kind LLC, lashes out at rival Clif Bar & Co. for allegedly copying its packaging design on its Mojo bars.

"We believe children of this generation will have shorter lifespans than their parents"- Dr Andrew Coward, chair, Birmingham South Central Clinical Commissioning Group raises his concerns about the growing rate of obesity in the UK.

"Lion's dairy and drinks business faces considerable headwinds in fiscal year 2014" - the Australian food and beverage group warns about the prospects for its cheese-to-juice business.

"We were determined to let our baby go only to a new parent that we were certain would foster it with the same care and attention that we did" - VN Dalmia, CEO of Indian group Dalmia Continental, says he is confident Cargill will take his Leonardo olive oil business to the next level after selling the asset to the US food group.

Sectors: Advertising & labelling, Baby food, Bakery, Canned food, Cereal, Chilled foods, Commodities & ingredients, Condiments, dressings & sauces, Confectionery, Dairy, Dried foods, Emerging markets, Financials, Food safety, Fresh produce, Frozen, Health & wellness, Ice cream, Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions, Multichannel, Natural & organic, NPD & innovation, Private label, Retail, Seafood, Snacks, Sustainability & the environment, World foods

Companies: ConAgra Foods, Nestle, Morrisons, Cargill, United Biscuits, 2 Sisters Food Group, Mondelez International

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