Blog: Heinz flags turbulence in Venezuelan currency
Katy Askew | 12 May 2014
Industry watchers have said food companies in Venezuela are finding it hard to obtain foreign currency
This morning (12 May) we ran an in-depth look at the impact policy decisions in Venezuela are having on the food industry in the country.
Our Caracas-based correspondent, Andrew Rosati, argued a lack of access to US dollars - the currency of trade for Venezuelan companies - is causing necessary imports to dry up. At the same time, government controls on pricing mean food manufacturers are unable to cover costs. These are significant problems for the sector prompting some to even warn of looming food shortages.
However, while some domestic manufacturers and a number of national industry associations were vociferous in their criticism of government policy, unsurprisingly perhaps, multinational corporations were more reticent.
It was interesting to note in Heinz's first-quarter filing with the SEC, then, that the company flagged issues in Venezuela and the "highly inflationary" economy in the country.
"On February 8, 2013, the Venezuelan government announced the devaluation of its currency relative to the U.S. dollar, changing the official exchange rate from 4.30 to 6.30. As a result, the company recorded a $43m pre-tax currency translation loss, which was reflected within other expense, net, on the condensed consolidated statement of income in the first quarter of 2013," the firm said.
More than that, the company had to reduce the value of its assets in the country due to exchange rate issues. "The amount of net monetary assets and liabilities included in our Venezuelan subsidiary's balance sheet was $124.7m" at March 30, 2014," Heinz said.
With industry giants including Nestle, General Mills, Mondelez International and Cargill all boasting a significant presence in Venezuela it will be telling to see if these issues persist - and the extent to which they impact others in the sector.
That politicians are selective with the truth is pretty much a given. But it did make this pundit chuckle to hear UK Chancellor George Osborne describe United Biscuits as a "great British company"... ...
Researchers at US-based The NPD Group have expressed optimism in the prospects for the foodservice sector after analysing sales data in 11 markets this summer....
Nestle had some reason for cheer this week when it was confirmed that Maggi noodles should be back on Indian shelves this month....
- ConAgra Foods: what could happen next? - analysis
- Why Mars rice plan not just crop-ticking exercise
- Greencore's food-to-go focus paying dividends
- Interview: Ritter sees growth potential in US, EU
- How Danone aims to meet its 2020 objectives
- Aryzta regional CEO steps down
- Maple Leaf Foods to cut over 400 jobs
- Pinnacle to buy Boulder Brands in $975m deal
- Hovis plans cuts amid anxiety over UK bread demand
- "Serious" suitors lined up for Chicken of The Sea