Within a raft of trading updates this week, Kellogg and Chiquita Brands International posted disappointing results, although Unilever and organics retailer Whole Foods Market had better news for the market. Heinz is entering what may become a protracted series of negotations with its Wigan staff over wages, while rumours abound that Marks and Spencer may look to re-acquire the stores in western Europe that it sold in 2001. Here’s the best of what was said this week.
“We’ve had nine years of great performance and clearly 2010 was disappointing for all of us. We do believe we will regain momentum going through 2011 and that will get us back to our long-term targets as soon as possible” – Kellogg CEO David Mackay on the manufacturer’s 2010 results.
“Any time you need to have a significant change in your business, I’m a believer that you have got to have a leadership change” – Chiquita Brands International president and CEO Fernando Aguirre on the company’s plans to transform its European business.
“We think these results will go some way to restoring confidence in the company’s turnaround. We remain happy buyers this morning” – Investec analyst Martin Deboo on Unilever’s third-quarter results.
“Customers have also continued to shift toward organic products with sales growth in organic products outpacing sales growth in natural products year over year” – Whole Foods co-CEO and co-founder John Mackey on the drivers behind the retailer’s strong results.
“There is absolutely no need for Heinz to be so stingy” – Jennie Formby, Unite national officer for food and drink on the pay rise offered to Wigan plant staff.
“Its whole international strategy seems a bit unfocused. There is no great critical mass in any one market” – Charles Stanley analyst Sam Hart on Marks & Spencer’s rumoured plans to open stores in western Europe.
“My feeling is it is not the most useful kind of labelling for consumers but would allow industry to occupy the field, to say that it’s doing something and now we don’t need government action” – Dr Michael Jacobson, director of consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), questions the latest industry labelling initiative in the US.
“We expect that price increases will be needed to maintain our margins as we go into next year, especially in our private-brand product portfolio” – Lance president and CEO David Singer on the company’s plans to raise prices.
“While we are no longer in talks with Casey’s regarding a transaction, our strategy is to grow aggressively in the US and Canada” – 7-Eleven president and CEO Joe DePinto after the company ended negotiations to acquire Casey’s General Stores.
“The company is experiencing strong performance but we will not rest on our laurels. This new structure will enable Dave West to have more focus on the strategic and business development initiatives that will ensure Hershey delivers disciplined global expansion while it maintains its current momentum” – Hershey chairman James Nevels on plans to revamp how it organises its business.