just-food presents the key metrics from company financials in bitesize format, with analyst insight and social media comment alongside graphs illustrating a business’ historical performance to give you an easy-to-read digest of the numbers you need to know.

Conagra Brands sees subdued organic sales after Q3 print

US food group Conagra Brands posted an increase in third-quarter sales spurred by its recent acquisitions, but they fell on an organic basis as an improvement in domestic retail consumption was offset by a reduction in retailer inventory levels.  

In terms of 2018 guidance, Conagra sees organic sales down by 2% to flat, but predicts reported net sales will be approximately 150 basis points higher than the organic rate due to the impact of acquisitions and foreign exchange. 

For the three months to 25 February:

– Net sales rise 0.7% to US$2bn, but fall 2.2% on organic basis

  • Sales for the grocery and snacks segment drop 1% to $838m, while organic sales decline 6% 
  • Sales in the refrigerated and frozen sector increase 3% to $689m, with organic sales up 3%
  • International division sees sales climb 9% to $223m; organic growth 4%  
  • Foodservice sales decrease 6% to $244m  

– Operating income climbs 1.4% to $228.8m

– Net income surges to $362.8m versus $180m

Sanford Bernstein’s Alexia Howard said: “Conagra’s 3Q:18 results came in better than expected, aided by continued momentum in the refrigerated & frozen segment. The grocery and snacks segment reported a -6% organic sales decline driven by a 4% volume decline due to higher-than-expected retailer inventory reductions.”

Nomad Foods FY profits surge on debt repricing

European frozen products group Nomad Foods saw its revenues rise in 2017, driven by growth in volumes and prices. Profits surged on the back of interest rate savings from debt repricing.

– Reported revenue rises 1.5% to EUR1.9bn (US$2.3bn)

(Books organic revenue growth of 3.9%) 

– Adjusted EBITDA climbs 1% to EUR328m

– Operating profit up 76% at EUR242.9m

– Net profit increases more than three-fold to EUR137m

For 2018, Nomad Foods sees adjusted EBITDA at EUR350m to EUR360m 

Boparan Holdings Q2 sales rise despite ”tough market conditions”

Boparan Holdings, the parent company of troubled poultry processor 2 Sisters Food Group, saw its second-quarter sales rise despite ”tough market conditions” hitting profits. By division, sales were flat in the branded business and fell in the chilled segment, while the protein sector booked an increase.

Noting the drop in profits in the quarter ended 27 January, owner Ranjit Singh, who is to become group president after stepping down as chief executive, said: “During the second quarter we have delivered a solid top-line revenue performance, but our near-term profitability has been impacted by the major challenges we have faced during the period. We are focused on the basics, and the investments we are making provide a clear springboard to drive through meaningful and lasting change across the business.” 

– Sales rise 2% to GBP849.7m (US$1.2bn) from a year earlier 

– Operating profit slides 70.6% to GBP5.7m

– Profit after exceptional items, before interest and tax GBP2.4m, compared to a GBP9.9m loss a year earlier

Produce Investments back in the black in H1

UK potato supplier Produce Investments moved back into the black in the six months to 31 December.

CEO Angus Armstrong said: “The first half of the year has seen a marked improvement in our profitability, driven by a combination of more collaborative relationships with our key retail partners, new business gains and the investment we have made in the business in recent years. Coupled with the benefit from increased volumes, we are pleased with the performance that we have delivered.”

The company’s board expects underlying trading profit for the full year to be broadly in line with its expectations.

– Revenue up 1.6% to GBP80.6m (US$114.1m)

– Operating profit of GBP2.4m, compared to GBP0.2m in 2016

– Pre-tax profit of GBP2.1m, compared to a loss of GBP1m in 2016 

Shore Capital research analyst Phil Carroll said: “Produce Investments has delivered a robust set of interim results to December 2017, in our view. Looking ahead, the core fresh potato business continues to perform well and the company state that business is trading in line with the board’s expectations for the full year. A good set of results and we believe Produce now has a more stable platform which should enable management to drive growth in the future.”

Wednesday 21 March

General Mills shares slide after profit warning

General Mills today (21 March) cut its forecast for a key profit metric, sending shares in the US food group tumbling in pre-market trading in New York.

The owner of brands including Old El Paso and Yoplait said it now expects its total segment operating profit to fall by 5-6% on a constant-currency basis, compared to an earlier forecast of flat to down 1%.

The revised forecasts came alongside the publication of General Mills’ third-quarter and nine-month financial results.

For the nine months to 25 February:

– General Mills’ net sales inched up 0.3% to US$11.85bn. Third-quarter net sales were up 2.3% at $3.88bn.

– On an organic basis, net sales fell 1% over the first nine months of General Mills’ financial year but were up 1% in the third quarter.

– Nine-month operating profit was down 0.5% at $1.95bn. During the company’s third quarter, its operating profit rose 9.3% to $592.7m.

– Nine-month net earnings were up 42.3% at $1.78bn; they more than doubled to $941.4m in the third quarter.

Sanford Bernstein’s Alexia Howard said: “The North America Retail segment grew sales by +1% but experienced flat profit growth during the quarter. It is of note that organic price/mix was flat in North America despite higher costs, which suggests how difficult it has become for food companies to pass input and freight costs to retailers in the current environment. The segment’s operating profit was flat in 3Q:18 and down -7% on a fiscal year-to-date basis.”

Fonterra books H1 loss as impairment bites

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra revealed a first-half loss of NZD348m (US$250m) in the six months to 31 January.

It was hit by a NZD405m impairment charge linked to its struggling Chinese baby food joint venture Beingmate and a NZD183m damages payment to French dairy giant Danone linked to a contamination scare in 2013.

CEO Theo Spierings, who is to leave the role later this year it was announced today, said: “While our reported net profit after tax (NPAT) shows a loss of NZD348m, it includes the payment to Danone and the Beingmate impairment. As these are one-off events, our normalised net profit after tax of NZD248m is a better reflection of our underlying operating performance for the half year.” 

– Revenue up 6% at NZD9.8bn

– EBIT down 25% at NZD458m

– Net loss of NZD348m compared to a profit of NZD418m last year

Granarolo acquisitions spur rise in FY sales

Italian dairy group Granarolo posted an increase in full-year sales on the back of recent acquisitions, but profits dropped amid rising raw material costs.

In September, Granarolo bought a 24 stake in cheese specialist Venchiaredo from Emmi and in May acquired a 50 holding in Greek dairy distributor Quality Brands International. 

The company purchased a 60% share in Brazilian food processor Allfood in March, and most recently, acquired the UK’s Midland Food Group, taking the share of its overseas business to 32%. Granarolo is targeting to make that 35% in the next two years.

– Sales rise 7.8% to EUR1.2bn (US$1.5bn)

– EBITDA falls 13.4% to EUR70.1m

– EBIT declines 31% to EUR29.1m

– Net earnings drop 55% to EUR10.1m

Ireland’s Ornua books “record” annual sales

Ornua, the Ireland-based dairy and ingredients group, this morning (21 March) booked “record” full-year sales thanks to acquisitions and organic growth in parts of its business.

The company pointed to a “record” year for Kerrygold in Germany and the US, with the brand seeing “double-digit” volume growth.

The rise in turnover drove increases in operating profit and pre-tax profits, although Ornua had not disclosed its net profit at the time of writing.

For the year to 30 December:

– Turnover up 18% at EUR2.07bn (US$2.54bn)

– Operating profit 32% higher at EUR35.2m

– Pre-tax profits jumped 84% to EUR29.1m

Synlait milks infant formula demand

New Zealand-based dairy and infant-formula manufacturer Synlait today posted a jump in half-year profits amid a boom in demand for its consumer-facing products.

Synlait, which packs infant formula for companies including A2 Milk Co., saw its net earnings more than treble year-on-year.

Total sales of finished infant formula more than doubled, Synlait said.

China’s Bright Food owns a 39% stake in Synlait.

For the six months to 31 January:

– Sales rose 52.2% to NZD439.3m (US$315.2m)

– Net profit after tax of NZD40.7m, versus NZD10.6m year earlier

Tuesday 20 March

Rhodes Food Group forecasts fall in half-year earnings

The South Africa-based business has said it expects its first-half headline earnings to be down by 33-43%.

Rhodes Food Group made the forecast, which would mean earnings reach ZAR72-84.6m (US$6.1-7.1m), in a trading update.

It pointed to increased canned fruit product costs and the impact of foreign exchange.

Rhodes Food Group also cited a rise in interest payments of ZAR18-20m, linked mainly to the funding for the acquisition of Ma Baker and increased capital investment. The company also saw one-off costs of approximately ZAR10m relating to the integration of the recently-acquired Ma Baker and the relocation of Alibaba Foods to the group’s ready-meals facility at Groot Drakenstein.

For the five months to 28 February, Rhodes Food Group said it saw its group turnover rise 16.2%, with organic growth of 5.5%.

Indofood ekes out profit in ”challenging” year 

Indonesia-based food giant Indofood reported a rise in full-year sales and profits but noted a ”challenging” environment amid subdued consumer demand.

Chief executive Anthoni Salim said: “Despite stable macroeconomic conditions, 2017 was a challenging year for the FMCG industry where consumer demand was dampened. However, we managed to deliver growth in our underlying performance. We remain hopeful for a better 2018 with the expectation of [an] improvement in [the] domestic economy, and we will continue to evolve to address challenges ahead.” 

– Sales rise 5.3% to IDR70.2trn (US$5.1bn) in year to 31 December

– Operating income up 5.6% at IDR8.8trn

– Income attributable to shareholders climbs 0.6% to IDR4.2trn

Monday 19 March

Finsbury Food Group underlying H1 profits rise despite ”headwinds”

Finsbury Food Group today (19 February) reported an increase in first-half revenues and profits despite what the UK bakery business said was ”a sustained period of market-wide headwinds” as a result of commodity and exchange-rate driven inflation.

The bread and cake maker posted a reported first-half loss amid restructuring costs.

For the 26 weeks to 30 December:

– Revenue rises 0.7% to GBP157.8m (US$219.7m)

(like-for-like sales increase 2.5% to GBP144.8m)

– Operating profit up 4.7% at GBP8.7m

– Underlying profit before tax climbs 6.3% to GBP8.4m

– Net loss of GBP1.3m, versus profit of GBP6.6m year earlier amid restructuring costs

Dali Foods FY profits up

China’s Dali Foods reported an increase in full-year profits as the Hong Kong-listed company focused its strategy on developing “multi-brands and multi-products”. 

– Revenue rises 11% to CNY19.8bn (US$3.1bn) in year to 31 December

Food division sales increase 2.1% to almost CNY10bn 

– EBITDA up 8.7% at CNY4.9bn

– Net profit climbs 9.5% to CNY3.4bn

Dali said in its earnings statement: ”Through optimizing existing product mix and expanding channels, all major categories of the group had consolidated and strengthened market positions and still maintained healthy profit growth despite [a] substantial increase in [the] price of raw materials.”