A quiet week for financial updates as results season winds down, with Diamond Foods, Sainsbury’s and Smithfield Foods preparing to issue updates. Trade shows will see food companies setting out their wares in various continents from North America to Africa.
Monday 10 June
US nut and snack group Diamond Foods will be hoping to report continued progress on its turn around plan, having witnessed sustained pressure on sales and profits in the first half of the year. The company has looked to revive its prospects by rationalising its portfolio and delisting under performing SKUs. However, in the highly price-sensitive climate, will Diamond’s attempt to reduce reliance on promotions prove detrimental to the top line?
Meanwhile, seafood exhibition Fencam will open its doors in Natal in Brazil on Monday. The three day international acquaculture expo aims to provide exhibitors will a platform to display their innovative products and services.
Wednesday 12 June
UK retailer Sainsbury’s will report its first-quarter sales. In a market of declining volumes and lacklustre demand, Sainsbury’s has consistently out-performed rivals. And, despite lapping some tough comparables, the country’s third-largest grocer is expected to book a sales and market share performance that once again out paces its peers. However, investors will be watching whether the supermarket group has been able to translate this top line strength into an improved operating performance. The group has accelerated sales gains through a significant investment programme and its margins are somewhat uninspiring.
The BBC Good Food Summer Festival in Birmingham certainly brings a little bit more glamour than the average trade show, with celebrity chefs and cookery programmes taking the spotlight. While there will be plenty to get consumers and armchair chefs excited, the exhibition nevertheless presents British food companies with the opportunity to meet buyers and decision makers from all facets of the user industry. The show, at the NEC, will run from 12-16 June.
Thursday 13 June
The EU will be hosting an EU Committee breakfast briefing to discuss the controversial subject of the use of science in the agricultural sector. Faced with the significant challenge of increasing global agricultural output to provide for the growing world population with a finite amount of resources (such as land or water) there are many who argue that the agricultural sector must turn to science for answers. Nevertheless, there remains widespread mistrust of science in this field – forgive the pun – with consumers eyeing GMOs and the like with a healthy helping of caution. The event, at the Renaissance Hotel, Brussels, will bring together leading experts in the sector and aims to increase public engagement in the debate. Professor Anne Glover, chief scientific advisor to the president of the EU, will be among those speaking at the presentation and Q&A.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the Fine Cheese Festival will open in Victoriaville in Canada. The event (13-16 June) is one of the most well-attended cheese sector trade events in the world – and its only in its second year. The inaugural event pulled in more than 22,000 visitors and it provides both international and national cheese makers with an opportunity to reach out to buyers and industry professionals from Canada and beyond.
Moving south, Salimat opens its doors in Santiago, Chile. The event, which runs from 13-16 June, bills itself as a “major food platform” opening doors to international and national buyers.
Skipping continents, two-day international trade show Aviana opens in Kenya. The meat and poultry-focused event provides exhibitors with the opportunity to establish distribution channels across Africa and runs from 13-14 June.
Friday 14 June
Smithfield Foods will report its full-year results. The company, which has been struggling to balance profitability at its hog and value-added meats business, is likely to attract additional attention on Friday. The Smithfield board has unanimously thrown its weight behind a proposed US$7.1bn takeover by China’s Shuanghui International. The deal represents a hefty 31% premium of the closing price of Smithfield shares the day before the acquisition was announced. While major shareholders have already insisted the deal unlocks value, a number of regulatory hurdles lie ahead. Most significant of these is the idea that the acquisition could be against the US’s national interest for a Chinese firm to own a major national food producer. In a break with the norm, management will not host a conference call to discuss the results.