Danone also confirms 2017 guidance

Danone also confirms 2017 guidance

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.

Danone third-quarter sales rise with notable performance in nutrition 

French dairy giant Danone reported increases in both third-quarter and nine-month sales, with a "strong'' performance noted from "specialised nutrition" and "exceptional'' growth from its early life nutrition business in China. The company said the integration of WhiteWave Foods - acquired earlier this year - is on-track as it provided more detail on its 2017 guidance.

- Reported sales up 16.6% in third quarter at EUR6.45bn (US$7.6bn)

- Like-for-like sales from "New Danone" - which reflects the organic performance of Danone and WhiteWave combined - rise 4.7%

- 2017 guidance updated: Danone sees recurring EPS growth of 12%. In July, Danone forecast "double-digit" growth (EUR3.1 reported in 2016)

- Essential Dairy and Plant-based International (EDP) segment sees third-quarter sales fall 2.3% to EUR2.05bn on like-for-like basis, reflecting 7.4% decrease in volumes due to a double-digit drop in sales in Brazil 

- Specialised Nutrition like-for-like sales up 17.8% in third quarter at EUR1.84bn

- Early Life Nutrition saw growth of more than 20% led by demand for Danone's brands in China, where growth was above 50% (infant formula accelerated in China)

- On a nine-month basis, reported sales climb 12%

- Consolidated nine-month sales for New Danone on like-for-like basis increase 2.1% to EUR18.58bn

- EDP International like-for-like nine-month sales fall 1.6% to EUR6.34bn 

- Specialised Nutrition like-for-like nine-month sales up 9.5% at EUR5.3bn

Jefferies analyst Martin Deboo said Danone's Q3 "has beaten handsomely on the top line". However, he added: "The beat is confined more or less exclusively to China Baby, where Q3 sales were ahead by more than 50%. Fresh Dairy is below expectations, with firmly negative volume development."

Wednesday 11 October

First Milk's "rapid surgery'' translates into full-year profits

After what the UK dairy company's chairman Clive Sharpe called "rapid surgery'', First Milk bounced back to a profit in the year ended March 31 even as revenue slid 30%. Under a business transformation, the firm put in place a new strategy and divested loss-making subsidiaries. During the year, the company won a new long-term milk supply contract with Nestle UK and Ireland, and also agreed a cheese supply partnership with supermarkets Tesco and Ornua. 

- Turnover drops to GBP206.5m (US$272.4m) from GBP294.2m a year earlier

- Operating profit (before exceptional items) almost doubles to GBP11.7m from GBP6m

- Net profit at GBP6m compared to GBP5.1m loss in 2016

In September, First Milk said it would cut jobs as part of a productivity and efficiency drive. 

Thursday 5 October

LDC sees sales and volumes increase

French poultry group LDC has declared what it describes as a "solid" set of half-year sales results with both sales by value and volume increasing.

- Total sales up 6.7% at EUR1.86bn (US$2.17bn)
- Total volumes sold up 6.8%
- By division: 
Excluding upstream business, French poultry sales up 6%, with volumes 6.8% higher
International: sales up 16,7%, volumes 7.8% higher

Lantmannen food division reports profit pressure

Lantmännen, the Sweden-based agri-food group, reports its results over three, four-month periods and today posted the numbers for the four (and therefore eight) months to the end of August.

Looking over the longer time-frame and, more specifically, at its food division, the business booked a 12.5% fall in adjusted operating profit despite rising sales.

The co-op said its Lantmännen Cerealia unit "continues to encounter intense competition in several product categories". The group said "extensive work" is in progress at the unit "to sharpen the organisation, increase cost and production efficiency and build an organisational platform for profitable growth and competitiveness in all market categories".

Results for Lantmännen Food Sector for the eight months to the end of August:

- Net sales up 4% at SEK9.52bn (US$1.18bn)
- Operating income of SEK566m, down from SEK822m a year earlier
- Adjusted operating income 12.5% lower at SEK504m

Wednesday 4 October

Mixed results for PepsiCo food divisions

US food and drinks giant PepsiCo has seen varied results from its food divisions in the nine months to 9 September with Frito-Lay North America performing well but Quaker Foods North America down on revenue and flat on profit.

- Group net revenue up 2% to US$43.99bn
- Group operating profit up 7% to $7.91bn
- Group net income (attributable to PepsiCo) up 13% to $5.56bn

- Frito-Lay North America net revenue 3% higher at $10.96bn
- Frito-Lay North America operating profit up 5% to $3.42bn

- Quaker Foods North America net revenue down 1% to $1.72bn
- Quaker Foods North America operating profit no change at $456m.

Lamb Weston reports rise in first-quarter results

The US-based potato products supplier said its first-quarter figures reflect a good balance of sales growth, supply chain productivity and cost discipline as the company retained its full-year sales guidance in the "low-to-mid-single digits''. 

- Net sales rise 5% to US$817m in quarter to 27 August

- Income from operations up 10% at US$138m

- Adjusted income from operations climbs 4% to US$140m

- Adjusted EBITDA increases 11% to US$191m

- Net income up 6.3% at US$88.3m

Monday 2 October

Cal-Maine Foods losses narrow in first quarter as sales rise

US egg supplier Cal-Maine Foods said first-quarter sales rose on "solid'' retail demand and an increase in both volumes and prices, but was disappointed with the reported losses. Shell egg prices increased over the summer months, while feed costs dropped 13% on the back of favourable grain supplies.

The company noted that shell egg exports have still not recovered to the peak levels seen before the Avian influenza outbreak in 2015.

- Net sales rise 10% to US$262.8m in the quarter to 2 September

- Operating loss shrinks to US$24.4m from US$50.4m

- Net loss narrows to US$16m from US$30.9m

Cal-Maine reported loss for the year to June 3 after Avian influenza outbreak.

Bonduelle results build on record turnover announcement

French processed vegetable business Bonduelle has built on the earlier announcement of its turnover exceeding EUR2bn by recording a 4.6% increase in annual operating profit in its full year (2016-2017) results. The group has been buoyed by its recent acquisition of US firm Ready Pac Foods.

- turnover increases 16.3% to EUR 2.28bn (US$2.67bn) (2015-16: EUR1.96bn)
- operating profit up by 4.6% to EUR108.3m (2015-16: 103.5m)
- net profit increases 11.4% to EUR59.8m (2015-16: EUR53.7m)

Friday 29 September

Real Good Food slides to loss as debt surges

In a year that saw executive chairman Pieter Totté resign, the UK bakery and ingredients group saw profits slide to a loss as the Brexit affect on the pound hit commodity prices, and in turn, the company said it was slow to raise prices to restore margins. It also noted "challenging trading conditions'', poor financial control of central costs, and a "significant trading dispute'' regarding the non-supply of contracted sugar to Garrett Ingredients, which remained unresolved.

- Revenue rises 8% to GBP108m (US$144.3m) in year to 31 July
- EBITDA slumps to GBP1.2m from GBP5m
- Turns to operating loss of GBP5.8m from GBP2.1m profit
- Net debt surges to GBP16.2m from GBP5m in 2016 
- Loss before tax of GBP6.5m versus GBP4.7m profit

H1 losses grow at France's Tipiak

Tipiak, the French ambient and frozen foods group, has seen its first-half losses widen after sales fell across both sides of the business. The second half of the year traditionally sees stronger results.

- Revenue down 2.8% at EUR82.1m (US$96.8m)
- An operating loss of EUR2.4m, against a loss of EUR1.7m a year ago
- A net loss of EUR1.8m, compared to a loss of EUR1.4m in H1 2016.

Thursday 28 September

McCormick updates outlook to reflect growth, RB Foods purchase

The US spices and sauces maker expects full-year sales to rise 9-10% as the acquisition of RB Foods strengthens its position with French's and Frank's RedHot brands. The outlook, issued today (28 September) alongside McCormick's third-quarter results, also takes into account the lower impact from unfavourable foreign-currency adjustments on earnings per share.

- Third-quarter sales rise 9% to US$1.19bn to 31 August (includes 1% favourable currency impact)
- Operating income flat at $169m (adjusted operating income up 18% at US$204m)
- Net profit falls 15.6% to $108m
- Strong performance in consumer sector: US sales up 7% (RB Foods contributes 3%), EMEA 1% higher, Asia Pacific rises 2%

just-food analysis: McCormick hot on Reckitt sauces deal despite fiery multiple

Conagra Brands heralds strong start despite declining sales

US food group Conagra Brands has trumpeted "continued sequential improvement" despite net income and sales both being down in its fiscal first quarter to 27 August.

- Net sales down 4.8% to US$S1.8bn
- Income from continuing operations (before income taxes and equity method investment earnings) down 4.4% to US$243.6m
- Income from continuing operations up 55.8% to USE153.6m
- Net income down 19.3% to US$153.3m

Earlier this week, Conagra Brands announced it is to buy US snacks firm Angie's Artisan Treats.

Produce Investments sees revenue rise on back of hike in potato prices

UK potato supplier Produce Investments has seen its revenue rise by 8.1% in its full year results to 1 July on the back of potato prices increasing because of a low crop yield.  However, its operating profit was down on the 2016 figure.

- Revenue rises 8.1% to GBP200.1m (US$267.5)
- Operating profit (before exceptional items) falls 9.1% to GBP8.4m
- Net profit rises 88% to GBP6.6m

Westland Milk Products, lapping FY loss, posts profit

New Zealand dairy cooperative Westland Milk Products reported a profit in its last financial year, which ran to 31 July, but said the result was "still not industry competitive". The profit of NZD1.5m (US$1.1m) compared to a NZD10.3m loss in 2015/16.

- Revenue of NZD629.7m, against NZD588.1m a year earlier
- Earnings before net finance costs and income tax of NZD10m. A year earlier, Westland booked a loss of NZD8.7m

Ukrproduct creeps into the black

London-listed Ukraine dairy business Ukrproduct has booked a small first-half profit after a spike in sales. Volume and revenues increased "substantially" over the first half of 2016, when its sales had dropped 16% year-on-year.

For the six months to 30 June:

- Revenue jumped 82% to GBP14.9m
- A GBP408,000 profit from operations versus a loss of GBP220,000 a year earlier
- A net profit of GBP4,000 against a loss of GBP1.1m in the first half of 2016

Monday 25 September

Fonterra annual revenue rises but profit hit by lower volumes and margins

The New Zealand dairy cooperative today (25 September) reported an increase in annual revenues on higher prices, which offset a 3% decline in volumes due to poor weather, while both operating profit and net profit were hit by lower margins.

- Revenue rises 12% to NZD19.2bn (US$14bn)
- Normalised EBIT falls 15% to NZD1.15bn
- Net profit declines 11% to NZD745m

Aryzta revenues weighed down by drop in Europe and North America

Swiss bakery giant Aryzta today booked a fall in annual sales and earnings.

Revenues dropped in North America and in Europe. In North America, margins were affected by reduced operating leverage, combined with increasing labour input costs and increased spending on branding and marketing costs. Margins declined in Europe primarily due to the ramp-up of new bakery capacity in Germany, as well as the currency impact of Brexit on cross-border revenues and input costs in the UK. Butter price inflation also impacted results during the second half. 

- Revenue falls 2.1% to EUR3.8bn (US$4.5bn) in 12 months ended 31 July

  • Europe revenue down 0.5% at EUR1.74bn
  • North America sales drop 5.7% to EUR1.8bn
  • Rest of World region up 15.8% at EUR259m

- EBITDA declines 31% to EUR420m
- Underlying net profit down 42.5% at EUR179m

Friday 22 September

Spanish chocolate maker Natra's losses widen 

Spanish private-label chocolate manufacturer and cocoa supplier Natra has seen its losses widen by 20.6% in the first half of the year.

- Net loss EUR3.5m (US$4.2m) (H1 2016: EUR2.9m)
- EBITDA EUR9m  (H1 2016: EUR11.1m)
- Sales EUR172.2m  (H1 2016: EUR171.6m)

Wednesday 20 September

General Mills first-quarter sales and profits drop weighed by US, Asia & Latin America

Despite a "challenging and dynamic environment,'' General Mills - which has brands including Cheerios, Old El Paso and Yoplait - reaffirmed its fiscal 2018 outlook and repeated a pledge to focus on four key areas: global cereals, US yogurts, investing in growth opportunities, and managing foundation brands.

- Net sales fell 4% to US$3.8bn in quarter ended 27 August
- (Organic net sales also down 4%)
- Operating profit dropped 3% to US$626m 
- Net earnings declined 1% to US$405m
- Diluted EPS up 3% at US$0.69

In July General Mills Ceo Jeff Harmening outlined his four priorities for 2018 to improve the company's top-line growth.

Astral Foods expects "material turnaround'' in full-year results on lower feed costs

The South African firm said the results for the 12 months through September, due to be published on 20 November, will reflect abnormally high feed costs in the year-earlier period, while a recovery in 2017 profits will partly be due to stable poultry prices.

- Headline EPS seen at least 65% higher, implying 1,592 cents a share (965 in 2016)

In 2016, the poultry group saw a slump in profits as higher feed costs had a "major negative impact".

Tuesday 19 September

Synlait full-year earnings rise with new product categories planned 

New Zealand's Synlait Milk said today (19 September) it booked a strong performance in the year ended July 31 when demand for high-margin products continued to rise, with finished infant formula volumes up 17%.

- Net profit climbed 11% to NZD38.2m (US$27.8m)
- EBIT up 7.7% at NZD65.8m
- Revenue was up 39% at NZD759m

Monday 18 September

Finsbury Food Group FY profits rise on flat sales

UK-based bakery business Finsbury Food Group this morning (18 September) reported higher full-year profits despite muted sales growth, pointing to efforts to "drive efficiency" and "manage costs". The business was lapping a 53-week financial year. On a 52-week basis, revenue was up but only by 0.3%.

52 weeks to 1 July 2017 vs. 53 weeks to 2 July:

- Revenue down 1.7% at GBP314.3m
- Results from operating activities up 6% at GBP13.6m
- Profit for the financial year rises 18.3% to GBP10.1m

Finsbury Food Group full-year financial results

Source: Finsbury Food Group stock-exchange filings

Dairy Crest expects half-year profit hike

Dairy Crest Group, the UK's largest dairy food company, said on Monday (18 September) it expects higher half-year profits due to increased sales of cheese, butter and spreads. Sales volumes for the six months to 30 September of its Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight brands will be ahead of last year, the company said. It reported an adjusted profit before tax of GBP19.1m (US$26m) for the half year of 2016.

Arabian Food Industries gives Q3 revenue forecast

Egypt-based dairy business Arabian Food Industries (Domty) is predicting total revenue will reach EGP700m (US$39.4m) in Q3 of this year, as a result of sales volume recovery since quarters one and two.

Domty, Egypt's biggest cheese maker, saw profits slump in the second quarter from a year earlier but rebound from a loss in the first three months of 2017.