Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

By Dean Best | 11 March 2013

In a week of results from major retailers, Carrefour cheered the market with improvement in France, upmarket UK grocer Waitrose highlighted its strong year and Belgium's Delhaize insisted its business in the US would improve. Elsewhere across the Atlantic, meat processor Smithfield Foods faced calls from a major investor to consider dividing in three.

On the money: We must invest to thrive, says Carrefour CEO
Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat has insisted the world's second-largest retailer has to invest to build on the signs of improvement at the company and withstand competition.

Comment: Waitrose reaps rewards of strategic initiatives
Waitrose booked a stellar set of results for 2012, a year of tough trading that nevertheless saw the upmarket supermarket group prosper. Katy Askew takes a look at how.

On the money: Delhaize eyes "stabilisation" of US margins
Belgium-based retailer Delhaize Group has said it expects a "progressive stabilisation" of its operating margins in the US as it focuses on improving profitability and productivity across the business.

US: Smithfield Foods urged to split in three
A major investor in Smithfield Foods has called on the US meat giant's board to consider splitting the company in three.

In the spotlight: Boparan continues M&A march with Vion buy
Boparan Holdings, the parent company of 2 Sisters Food Group, has continued its drive to rapidly expand its footprint with the announcement that it has acquired the remaining Vion meat businesses in the UK. Katy Askew takes a look at how ambitious 2 Sisters hopes to succeed in a market where Vion struggled.

Comment: Horsemeat saga exacerbates ready meal sales decline
Nearly two months into the horsemeat scandal that has rocked the food industry, UK figures highlighting a sales slowdown in ready meals raise the question of whether this is a temporary blip or a long-term structural decline.

The just-food interview - Arla Foods CFO Frederik Lotz
European dairy processor Arla Foods had a bumper 2012, with sales and profits up. And its operations in emerging markets played a part in boosting its top and bottom lines. Dean Best spoke with Arla CFO Frederik Lotz about the company's ambitions in emerging markets as it battles stiff competition for rising dairy consumption in markets like China from its European peers.

Talking shop: Online opportunity in China, Thailand
Online grocery retailing in China and Thailand promises great opportunities for international supermarket groups to crack these two diverse, challenging and potentially lucrative Asian markets. Andrew Don reports.

UK: Tesco preparing Price Promise roll-out
Tesco is preparing to transfer its Price Pledge promotion to a till-based system in the UK next week.

US: Publix "interested" in regional retailer Harris Teeter
US supermarket group Publix is reported to be interested in purchasing regional US retailer Harris Teeter.

Sectors: Chilled foods, Commodities & ingredients, Dairy, Emerging markets, Financials, Frozen, Meat & poultry, Mergers & acquisitions, Multichannel, Retail

Companies: Carrefour, Waitrose, Smithfield Foods, Vion, Delhaize Group, Arla Foods, Boparan Holdings, 2 Sisters Food Group, Tesco, Publix

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Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

European retail giant Delhaize this week named its new CEO - ex-Metro executive Frans Muller - but his appointment, combined with the departure of its US boss, hit the company's shares. In the US, Mondelez International gave more detail on its plans to shake up its plant network and use fewer suppliers. And an investor in Smithfield Foods insisted it had received interest from rival suitors for the US pork giant that could be better value than the current agreed takeover bid from China's Shuanghui International.

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

The Barclays Back to School Conference kicked off earlier this week - a three-day event that saw company executives gather to discuss their plans and outlook with investors and analysts. Manufacturers participating in the event included PepsiCo, General Mills, Mondelez International and Hormel Foods. Elsewhere, Delhaize named ex-Metro Group executive Frans Muller as its new CEO - and also announced the head of its US business, its largest market, would leave the company.

THAILAND/US: Thai trader to pay Smithfield insider trading charges

A Thailand-based trader is to pay US$5.2m to settle charges of trading on non-public information ahead of an announcement on the acquisition of Smithfield Foods by China's Shuanghui Holdings.

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