Finsbury - off to a good start.

Finsbury - off to a good start.

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.

Finsbury Food Group off to a decent start

UK bakery business Finsbury Food Group has announced trading in the first four months of the new financial year is in line with expectations.

The company said today (22 November): "This is a pleasing performance which shows resilience and recognises that the UK retail food market has recently transitioned from a deflationary to an inflationary environment.

"This resilience has been achieved by investing in initiatives which drive efficiency and productivity and therefore offset increases in the group's cost base to ensure that Finsbury is well positioned to maintain value for consumers and to remain a competitive, low cost producer for customers."

- Group sales revenues up by 4% to GBP105.5m (US$139.7m) (year-on-year basis)

- UK bakery division's sales increased by 5% 

- Overseas division sales down 3.8%

Scandi Standard nine-month sales pick up but profits fall

The European meat group's nine-month results recovered somewhat from the first half, when both sales and profits fell as the lingering effects of a bird-flu outbreak hit earnings. The company noted the Swedish market was negatively affected by weaker-than-normal demand for chilled products in the third quarter, while bird flu was stilling having some impact.

- Nine-month sales rise 13% to SEK5.04bn (US$597.7m)

- Adjusted EBITDA up 4% at SEK378.5m

- Net Income drops 16% to SEK SEK109.7m

The Scottish Salmon Company reports "record" third-quarter sales

The UK salmon supplier reported a "record" third quarter for sales on higher harvesting volumes and prices, contributing to a 34% increase in nine-month revenues. But net income before depreciation (NIBD) dipped through September.

- Nine-month revenue at GBP111.1m (US$147m) versus GBP82.7m a year earlier - third-quarter sales at GBP39m

- EBITDA rises to GBP30m from GBP7.8m

- NIBD slips to GBP35.8m compared to GBP36.5m
 

Tuesday 21 November

Hormel Foods sees FY sales dip

US business Hormel Foods remains in confident mood despite a decline in net sales, operating profit and EBIT for the year to 29 October.

CEO Jim Snee said: "The earnings power we are creating with acquisitions, major capital investments in value-added capacity, a supply chain reorganisation, the union of the grocery products and speciality products segments, and an intense focus on strategic cost management sets us up for renewed earnings growth in 2018 and beyond."

- Net sales down 3.7% at US$9.16bn

- Operating profit down 3.2% at $1.3bn

- Net earnings attributable to Hormel shareholders of $846.7m, compared to $890m

Earlier today, Hormel announced the merger of its grocery products and speciality foods divisions.

Campbell Q1 sales, profits down

Campbell Soup Co. today (21 November) reported falling first-quarter sales and profits, hit by pressure on its US soup business and from rising costs.

For the three months to 29 October:

- Net sales down 2% at US$2.16bn

- Operating earnings fall 11% to $442m

- Net earnings attributable to Campbell drop 6% to $275m

News update: Campbell Soup Co. cuts earnings guidance

Barclays analyst Andrew Lazar said: "Relative to our model, sales were roughly in line though gross margin was significantly weaker, while a lower tax rate also added $0.05 to EPS, by our math. gross margins contracted significantly more than modelled on higher costs and a 9% year-on-year decline in soup sales – partly due to retailer inventory reductions."

Weston Foods 40 week performance undermined by frozen foods

The manufacturing unit of Canada's George Weston posted a drop in both sales and profits in the 40 weeks to 7 October, with results impacted in the third quarter by continued underperformance in the frozen food business due to soft sales and operational challenges. However, it noted the fresh, artisan and biscuit segments performed as expected.

- Sales drop 0.9% to CAD1.71bn (US$1.3bn)

- Operating income declines 38.5% to CAD83m

- Adjusted EBITDA drops 12.6% to CAD195m

- EBITDA margin eases to 11.4% from 12.9%

Rhodes Food Group confirms profits hit by international business

After issuing a profit warning late in October, South Africa-based condiments-to-canned foods producer Rhodes Food Group confirmed its international operations hit annual earnings in the year to September, but reported strong growth in its home market and the rest of the region.

Strength in the rand, "significantly'' lower global demand for industrial pulp and puree products, and increasing canned fruit costs arising from the drought in the Western Cape weighed on international sales. 

- Full-year sales rise 10.8% to ZAR4.6bn (US$326.3m)

(Regional sales climb 21.4% and 47% in rest of Africa - international revenue down 18.1%)

- Operating profit down 18% at ZAR407m

- Net income drops 19% to ZAR237m

Plans ZAR350m capital investment in 2018, including the consolidation of certain production facilities acquired through acquisitions 

Monday 20 November

Kikkoman first-half sales rise but profits slide

The Japanese soy sauce and seasoning maker posted an increase in first-half sales to 30 September for both its domestic and overseas operations, but group profits fell. The company noted weakness in the European economy but a steady recovery in the US, and said Japan is on a "moderate recovery path''.

- Sales rise 9% to JPY214.5bn (US$1.9bn) - Japan sales climb 3.7% to JPY92.3bn, overseas up 13% at JPY123.6bn

- Operating income up 12.5% at JPY19.1bn

- Net income attributable to owners of parent down 24.8% at JPY12bn

Pioneer Foods sees FY earnings more than halved

South Africa's Pioneer Foods blamed a year that presented a "number of challenges" for disappointing annual results (to 30 September). These included "constrained trading conditions" and "an unfavourable procurement position until May 2017 on maize" following the drought in the northern part of South Africa during the 2015/16 season".

- Revenue down 5% to ZAR19.37bn (US$1.39bn)

- Earnings down 57% at ZAR726m

- Adjusted operating profit down 44% at ZAR277m

Astral Foods hits a positive note in annual results

South African poultry processor Astral Foods said it had been a year of two distinct halves, impacted by both input costs and poultry seeding prices.

But, revealing its full-year results to 30 September, Astral said operational realignments and a specialised focus contributed positively.

- Revenue up 3% at ZAR12.35bn (US$878.2m)

- Operating profit up 91% at ZAR1.04bn

- Profit before interest and taxes up 97% at ZAR1.08bn

Friday 17 November

Post Holdings' FY operating profit hit by nutrition brand impairment charge

A 'goodwill impairment charge' resulting from a reassessment of the long-term expectations of its sports nutrition brand Dymatize bit a chunk out of the full-year operating profit of US breakfast cereal, sports nutrition and eggs group Post Holdings.

But the Weetabix owner, which paid US$1.5bn for chilled and frozen food maker Bob Evans Farms in September, saw net sales increase in the year to 30 September and earnings before income tax soar.

- Net sales up 4% at US$5.23bn

- Operating profit down 4.6% at $520.3m

- EBIT up 140.4% at $74.4m

J.M. Smucker sees dip in six-month food sales

US food and beverages group J.M. Smucker has seen six month sales from its US Retail Consumer Foods division decline but profits from the unit were up in the period to 31 October.

CEO Mark Smucker said: "We are confident in the ability of our brands to win in the rapidly changing retail environment. In addition, we remain focused on achieving sustainable cost reductions that support both the bottom-line and fuel investments in future growth."

For the six months to 31 October:

- US Retail Consumer Foods net sales down 6.4% at US$1.02bn

- Segment profit up 5% at $241.8m

Reflecting on Smucker's second-quarter results, Barclays senior packaged food analyst Andrew Lazar said: "On a segment basis, sales were stronger than expected in all segments except US Retail Consumer Foods. US Retail Consumer sales were down -5% YOY (vs. our -2.0% forecast).

"J.M. Smucker lowered the top end of its FY18 EPS guidance and now targets EPS in a $7.75-$7.90 range, vs. $7.75-$7.95 previously (current consensus of $7.72). This is now predicated on net sales of 'flat to down slightly' year-on-year, which compares to 'down slightly' previously. The slightly lower top end of the full-year EPS range is due to higher costs, most notably freight. Importantly, J.M. Smucker's sales and EPS guidance excludes any potential contribution from its recently announced Wesson oil acquisition."

MHP profits surge amid rise in chicken prices

The Ukraine poultry group's nine-month results rose across the board amid an increase in average chicken prices and exports after the company established a new processing plant in Slovakia. Volumes remained stable. 

- Revenue to 30 September rises 18% to US$970m from a year earlier

- Operating profit climbs 14% to $318m

- Adjusted EBITDA up 8% at $371m

- Net profit increases to $257m from $102m

Strauss Group 9M sales rise on "robustness'' in key markets

The Israel-based food and beverage company said the results of its operations in key markets of Brazil, Russia, China, Australia and Israel have "generated robustness and stability the group can continue to build on in the future'', as nine-month sales and profits rose.

- Group sales rise 7.2% to NIM6.33bn from a year earlier

- EBITDA up 2.9% at NIM804m

- Net income attributable to shareholders climbs 21.8% to NIM338m

Domty sees profits plummet

Egyptian dairy business Arabian Food Industries (Domty) has seen its profits dip markedly in the nine month period to 30 September. Better news, on a year-on-year basis, came from a rise in sales.

- Consolidated profits down 48% to EGP28.5m (US$1.6m)

- Sales up 33% at EGP1.6bn

- Stand-alone profits down 62% at EGP19.9m

Wednesday 15 November

Premier Foods returns to profit in H1 on volume-driven growth

The UK company, which holds a licence to supply Cadbury-branded cakes from Mondelez International, said first-half sales rose on the back of a return to volume-driven growth, with revenue from its international operations up 23%. Over 40% of second-quarter revenue came from Premier Foods plc's partnerships with Mondelez and a more recent tie-up with Japan's Nissin Foods Holdings.

- Revenue for the six months to 30 September climbs 1.5% to GBP353.3m (US$465.3m). Revenue from brands flat at GBP295.4m. Non-branded sales were up 10.1% at GBP57.9m.

- Operating profit rises 2.3% to GBP22.5m

- Net profit turns positive at GBP0.3m versus GBP55.6m loss a year earlier

Jefferies analyst Martin Deboo said: "Q2 sales trends are encouraging and make for one of the more positive trading updates we have read from Premier Foods in a long while. While Q2 sales presented an easy comp, growth was ahead of our forecast and indicative of improving momentum. Along with the potential for modest margin expansion in H2, our confidence in delivery in fiscal year '18 increases accordingly."

Natra points to underlying progress

Natra today (15 November) booked higher nine-month losses on flat sales – but the Spain-based cocoa and chocolate products supplier sought to emphasise the progress it is seeing and expects to see on its underlying profitability.

The company, under recently-installed CEO Dominique Luna Tuleda, has embarked on a "transformation plan" after a loss-making 2016, with senior management appoints made, "new market opportunities" being identfied and cost-savings sought.

Natra said it expects "a significant improvement in its business in the final quarter of the year, outstripping the 2016 earnings thanks to the consolidation of existing businesses and the new initiatives generated by the transformation plan".

For the nine months to 30 September:

- Turnover of EUR267.7m (US$317m), versus EUR267.5m a year earlier

- EBITDA stood at EUR14.7m, compared to EUR18.2m

- Net loss of EUR4m, against EUR2.3m in first nine months of 2016

- Adjusted EBITDA was EUR17.8m, lapping EUR17.7m

- Natra made an adjusted net loss of EUR0.9m, versus EUR2.7m a year earlier

India's LT Foods bags H1 growth

India-based rice supplier LT Foods today (15 November) posted higher half-year sales and earnings.

The Daawat and Royal owner also noted its branded basmati rice accounted for 62% of sales during the period, up from 55% a year ago.

For the six months to 30 September:

- Turnover up 5% at INR16.26bn (US$249m)

- EBITDA rose 7% to INR2.1bn

- Profit after tax increased 11% to INR710m

Cherkizovo 9M profits more than double

Russian meat group Cherkizovo booked growth in all segments of pork, poultry and meat processing in the first nine months, but remains cautious on the full-year outlook as poultry and pork prices weakened, mainly due to seasonal factors. Still, it said the Russian macro-economic outlook is stable, while strength in the ruble is seen as a net positive.

- Nine-month revenue to 30 September up 12% at RUB66.1bn (US$1.1bn) from year earlier

- Adjusted EBITDA more than doubles to RUB11.7bn from RUB5.3bn

- Net income surges to RUB5.6bn versus RUB2.2bn

Tuesday 14 November

Lifeway Foods sales sour in Q3

US cultured dairy products supplier Lifeway Foods saw its sales curdle in the third quarter of the year, weighing on its top line for the year as a whole.

Third-quarter net sales dropped 4% to US$28.8m on the back of lower volumes of its branded kefir drinks.

Results for the nine months to 30 September:

- Net sales down 1.1% to $92.4m

- Income from operations of $2.5m, against $4.5m a year earlier

- Net income reached $1.4m, sliding from $3m a year ago

Cost control helps Tofutti Brands profits

US dairy-free business Tofutti Brands saw its profits grow in the first nine months of 2017 despite lower sales.

Chairman and CEO David Mintz pointed to Tofutti's "continuing focus on reducing operating expenses and improving margins" as the company's top line was affected by what it called "production and shipping issues" at its frozen desserts business.

For the nine months to 30 September:

Net sales of US$10.3m, versus $10.9m a year earlier

Income from operations rose, growing from $381,000 a year ago to $444,000

Net income reached $420,000, up from $356,000

Premium Brands Holdings books 9M growth despite Q3 drags

Canada-based Premium Brands Holdings has posted nine months of higher revenue and profits, although the company saw "transitory factors" weigh on its third-quarter results.

George Paleologou, Premium Brands Holdings' president and CEO, revealed the group saw "delays in the launch of several major sales initiatives", which he said included "a significant lead order" for its new sandwich plant in Arizona that did not start shipping until the end of the quarter.

Nevertheless, Premium Brands Holdings enjoyed "record" sales and EBITDA during the quarter.

Results for the nine months to 30 September:

Revenue of CAD1.61bn (US$1.26bn), compared to CAD1.32bn a year earlier

Earnings attributable to shareholders of CAD63.3m, against CAD48.9m (Q3: CAD21.3m vs CAD21.3m)

Charoen Pokphand Foods 9M revenue up on investments

Thai meat and seafood group Charoen Pokphand Foods said nine-month revenue growth was aided by investments in 15 countries, with its total overseas business climbing 13%. International sales accounted for 64% of group revenue, the domestic market 30%, and the remainder came from exports out of Thailand.

In terms of segments, CPF said its overseas food business surged to a record 72% this year as a result of the expansion in investment and merger and acquisition deals enacted last year. 

"CPF has invested in many countries to support our modern farming development in the livestock business to allow the company to get high-quality meat,'' said CEO Sooksunt Jiumjaiswnglerg. "In addition, it also invested in food businesses in countries with high import barriers such as the US and European Union.''

- Revenue rises 8% to THB372bn (US$11.3bn)

- Nine-month profit reaches THB12.9bn, almost the same level as a year earlier

Delfi nine-month revenue falls but posts growth in third-quarter sales

While nine-month earnings and profits declined at Singapore's chocolate confectionery maker, the company reported 1.5% growth in third-quarter sales. That was led by own brands in its prime Indonesian market and the ongoing reorganisation of its product portfolio and organisation. 

- Nine-month revenue drops 5.1% to US$281.2m

- EBITDA falls 13% to $33.1m

- PATMI (profit after tax and minority interests, including non-recurring items) declines 19% to $18.2m

Monday 13 November

JBS turns to nine-month profit

The Brazilian meat giant turned in a net profit for the nine months to 30 September compared to a loss a year earlier despite a corruption scandal and allegations of insider trading against brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista.

JBS owners Joesley and Wesley Batista charged with insider trading.

- Nine-month revenue falls 16.7% to BRL17.2bn (US$5.2bn) from a year earlier

- Operating profit slips to BRL2.13bn loss from BRL979m profit

- Posts net income of BRL1.06bn versus loss of BRL317.8m

Marfrig losses narrow as sales surge on

Brazilian meatpacking firm Marfrig, which said in August it had entered a "positive phase" in domestic cattle production, saw its Q3 sales leap forward.

- Net revenue up 11% at BRL4.8bn (US$1.4bn)

- Net loss improved by 63% at -BRL58m

- Consolidated adjusted EBITDA up 41% at BRL490m

Tyson Foods books record FY operating income after strong Q4

US food giant Tyson Foods said today (13 November) a strong finish to its fiscal year - to 30 September - has helped it to reach a new operating income high.

Tom Hayes, the company's president and CEO, said: "The fourth quarter was a strong finish to another record year. We delivered well over our goals of at least 4% operating income growth, EPS growth in the high single digits and 3% volume growth in value-added products, and expect to meet or exceed these goals again in fiscal 2018."

Tyson's full-year results:

- Sales up 3.7% to US$38.26bn

- Operating income up 3.5% to $2.93bn

- Net income up 0.3% at $1.77bn

Tyson Foods FY financial results, fiscal years 2011/12 to 2016/17

Source: Tyson Foods corporate website

Edita nine-month sales rise but profits slip

Egyptian snack maker Edita Food Industries posted an increase in nine-month sales but both operating profit and net profit declined. The company said it is exploring multiple avenues for regional expansion, particularly into fast-growing, emerging markets with large consumer bases and significant growth potential.  

- Sales rise 24.1% to EGP2.08bn (US$118.1m)

- EBITDA falls 19% to EGP276.8m

- Net income down 11.8% at EGP105.4m

India's Prabhat Dairy posts H1 sales, EBITDA growth

The milk, cheese and ice cream supplier has booked improved half-year revenues and EBITDA, although a jump in the company's tax bill trimmed its net profit.

For the six months to 30 September:

- Revenue from operations climbed 20.6% to INR7.45bn (US$114.8m)

- EBITDA up 14.5% at INR608.9m

- Profit after tax dipped 0.4% to INR149.2m
 

Saturday 11 November

Britannia Industries H1 profits rise after Q2 rebound

India's Britannia Industries has booked higher first-half profits despite seeing a year-on-year decline in its first quarter.

A 5% increase in first-half sales and "stable" cost inflation in the second quarter boosted Britannia's bottom line.

For the six months to 30 September:

Revenue from operations up 5.4% at INR48.37bn (US$745.1m)

Net profit rose 5.3% to INR4.77bn
 

Friday 10 November

Lassonde Industries profits rise despite flat sales

Nine-month revenue for Canada-based food and drink company Lassonde Industries was flat amid lower national brand sales in the US and its home market, but profits still increased. The company was hit by an unfavourable foreign-exchange impact in the third quarter.

- Books sales of CAD1.12bn (US$882m), flat with a year earlier

- Operating profit edges up 1.1% to CAD91.1m

- Net profit climbs 13.4% to CAD55.7m

Brazil's BRF remains in red over nine months even after Q3 rebound 

The Brazilian meat giant's third-quarter revenue and profits increased driven by what it said were favourable market conditions aided by the restructuring announced in July. However, over the first nine months net income swung to a loss from the same period in 2016.

The company also reported a loss in the first half: Carne Fraca probe hit loss-making BRF

- Third-quarter revenue rises 2.6% - from 1 July to 30 September - to BRL8.7bn (US$2.7bn)

- EBITDA climbs 21.3% to BRL1.07bn

- Net income increases to BRL138m from BRL18m a year earlier

For the nine months:

- Revenue falls 2.3% to BRL24.6bn

- Net income turns to BRL314.5m loss from BRL74.9m profit a year earlier

San Miguel Pure Foods sees income surge

San Miguel Pure Foods, part of the the Philippines' largest company in revenue terms, has seen revenue and income increase on a year-to-date basis to 30 September. 

The company announced earlier this month it is to combine its food, beer and liquor arms into a single entity.

- Gross revenue up 4.8% at PHP84.45bn (US$1.65bn)

- Income before tax up 23% at PHP6.63bn

- Net income up 25.6% at PHP4.71bn
 

Thursday 9 November

J&J Snack Foods FY sales pass the US$1bn mark

US-based J&J Snack Foods has seen its full-year sales pass the US$1bn mark. Its results (to 30 September) also reveal an increase in operating income.

President and CEO Gerald Shreiber said: "Improved results in our fourth quarter were aided by strong performances in our foodservice group with particular strong sales of soft pretzels, churros, handhelds and certain bakery products."

- Net sales up 8.8% at US$1.08bn

- Operating income up 4.7 % at $118.1m

- Net earnings of $79.2m, against $76m

Cost of milk and hyperinflation hits Parmalat

Lactalis-controlled Italian dairy giant Parmalat found market conditions tough in the nine months to 30 September, with hyperinflation in Venezuela and "extreme volatility of raw milk prices" affecting its results.

This latter development "coupled with a highly competitive market scenario, both at the retail level and the industrial level, triggered unfavourable dynamics in some areas where the group operates," it said.

Its 2017 guidance is confirmed for a net revenue gain of up to 1% (as suggested in September) but EBITDA is expected to decrease compared with the previous year in a range between -3% and -5%.

- Net revenue up 5.4% at EUR4.88bn (US$5.67bn)

- Sales revenue (at constant scope of consolidation and excluding Venezuela) down 3.7%

- EBITDA (at constant scope of consolidation and excluding Venezuela) down 5.8%

Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Daniele Ridolfi said: "Q3 sales results were 3% below our expectations mainly due to the weaker trend in Latam."

Product availability an issue for High Liner Foods 

The Canadian seafood business saw mixed results in the 39 weeks ended 30 September with a product recall in the second quarter still having an impact.

Chairman and CEO Henry Demone said: "Year-over-year sales volume improved on a consolidated basis in the third quarter of 2017 and was further bolstered by the acquisition of Rubicon on May 30, 2017. This was achieved in spite of continued impact on the business related to the product recall initiated in the second quarter of 2017.  Most notably, sales volume and profit margins decreased in our Canadian business on a year-over-year basis, partially due to low product availability following the recall that hindered our ability to fully promote certain higher-margin products with retailers during the third quarter."

- Sales up 6% at US$790.8m

- Adjusted EBITDA down 18.7% at $53m

- Net income down 32% at $17.4m

Hostess Brands hails "top-line momentum"

US snack cake maker Hostess Brands has seen both its revenue and income increase in the nine month period to 30 September.

However, the Twinkies owner's net revenue dipped 2% year-on-year in the third quarter.

President and CEO Bill Toler said: "We have entered the fourth quarter with strong top-line momentum, an improving category in sweet baked goods and robust product innovation. The sequence of the year has developed as we anticipated and for the full year we expect 6.5% to 7.3% of revenue growth, market share growth and 7.0% to 8.4% of adjusted EBITDA growth."

- Net revenue up 5.7% at US$580m

- Adjusted EBITDA up 6.2% at $172.4m

- Net income up 13.2% at $68.5m

Flowers Foods income halved 

US company Flowers Foods, which makes Dave's Killer Bread, saw both its operating income and net income more than half on a year-on-year basis for the 40 weeks to 7 October.

Allen Shiver, the company's president and CEO, said: "Earnings were impacted by expected strategic charges that allow us to lower our cost structure and streamline our company, increase focus on our strongest brands, and improve our supply chain. Excluding these charges, our profitability in the third quarter was solid, driven by improved manufacturing efficiencies and enhanced cost discipline across the company."

- Sales down 0.3% at US$3.04bn

- Net income down 52.5% at $71.5m

- Income from operations down 51.9% at $116.5m

- Flowers gave adjusted EBIT figure of $246.4m, down from $252.9m year earlier

Clearwater Seafoods to restructure as profits drop

With the Canadian seafood firm's nine-month sales pretty much flat and profits down, chief executive Ian Smith said the company is taking action to restructure the organisation and "remains 100% committed to our core business and strategies''.

- Nine-month sales creep up 0.1% to US$446.3m

- Adjusted EBITDA falls 12.4% to $80.1m

- Earnings attributable to shareholders drop 24.4% to $26.7m

News update: Seafood group Clearwater eyes agility through restructuring

Dairy Crest revenues climb on cheese, spreads, oils

The UK dairy group reported gains in six-month sales and profits and said it posted growth in both volumes and value for Cathedral City in cheese, Clover in spreads and Frylight in oils. Country Life butter volumes declined.

Reported profits were skewed by "exceptional items", including a GBP132.4m gain on the group's pension fund.

The company said restructuring is underway at its butter and spreads facility in Kirby, which will deliver annual cost savings of about GBP2.5m (US$3.3m).

- Consolidated revenue rises 16% to GBP220m through 30 September

- Profit before tax for continuing operations at GBP151.4m, versus GBP15.6m. Before exceptional items, pre-tax profits were GBP20m, compared to GBP18.5m a year earlier

- Net profit for continuing operations GBP122.7m, against GBP10.2m a year earlier. Pre-exceptionals, the figures were GBP16.2m versus GBP14.2m

Kepler Cheuvreux equity reserach analyst Karel Zoete said: "The overall H1 EBIT of GBP25m was 3% ahead of our GBP24m estimate based on the strong volume growth of the cheese business. Here profit margins spiked. Spreads however saw profit margins fall sharply amid the high cream prices.

"As a local UK player active in slowly growing (cheese) or declining (spreads) categories, mid-term growth is capped. Expansion in dairy ingredients and a strong cheese franchise could bring some growth, but overall EBIT growth is mid-single digit at best."


Leroy Seafood expects to net "record-high" profit in 2017

Norway-based seafood business Leroy Seafood today (9 November) posted the highest nine-month revenues and underlying profits in its history.

Looking to the company's possible results for 2017 as a whole, it said: "The board currently estimates that earnings in Q4 2017 will be on par with earnings in Q3 2017, ensuring that the group will achieve a record-high profit in 2017."

For the nine months to the end of September:

- Revenue reached NOK14.06bn (US$1.73bn), compared to NOK12.35bn a year earlier

- EBIT was NOK2.94bn, versus NOK1.83bn

- Earnings per share were NOK3.78, against NOK2.35

India's Heritage Foods sees H1 profits fall

In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange, Heritage Foods booked higher sales but lower profits for the six months to the end of September.

- Revenue from operations of INR12.33bn (US$189m), versus INR9.19bn

- Pre-tax profits from continuing operations of INR253.6m, against INR637.6m

- Net profit of from continuing operations of INR179m, compared to INR486.7m

Wednesday 8 November

Pilgrim's Pride up on strong demand  

US chicken giant Pilgrim's Pride, which bought the UK's Moy Park in September, has seen its gross profit for the nine-month period to 24 September pass the US$1bn mark. Bill Lovette, the company's CEO, said: "Despite greater availability of alternative protein, we saw strong demand for chicken during grilling season and we expect a continuation of chicken as a choice protein in domestic and international markets." 

- Net sales up 6.9% to US$8.03bn

- Gross profit up 37.1% to $1.2bn

- Operating income up 42.2% to $917.3m

- Net income of $560.2m, versus $369.9m a year earlier

Simply Good Foods in good health

US nutritional snacking company Simply Good Foods - formed out of the merger of diet snacks brand Atkins and Conyers Park Acquisition Corp. - has seen a near 35% year-on-year increase in net income in its FY results to 26 August. Its results are compared with those of Atkins a year earlier.

Joseph Scalzo, president and CEO, said: "We ended fiscal year 2017 with strong net sales and profit growth. Our financial performance reflects continued solid momentum across sales channels and our nutritional snacking product categories."

- Pro-forma combined net sales up 7.4% at US$396.2m

- Pro-forma combined net income up 34.8% to $28.7m

- Pro-forma combined adjusted EBITDA up 12.9% at $72.5m

Amplify Snack Brands raises full-year outlook

The US snack company's newly-acquired Oatmega and Tyrrell's brands helped nine-month sales increase, along with product innovation in SkinnyPop popcorn. The full-year outlook for revenue and operating profits was upgraded.

- Net sales for the 39 weeks to 30 September rise 55% to US$283m (organic sales up 9.4%)

- Adjusted EBITDA up 3.5% at $63.6m

- Operating income climbs 5.1% to $45.8m

- Net income drops 87% to $2.4m

- Full-year sales seen at $375m to $379m, and adjusted EBITDA at $84-$86m. 

SunOpta sees dip in 9M revenues

Canada-based foods and ingredients company SunOpta saw its revenue decrease but its profit rise over the nine-month period to 30 September.

CEO David Colo said: "We continued to make progress against all four pillars of our Value Creation Plan during the third quarter, refining the portfolio, enhancing the team at the plant level and in senior commercial leadership, implementing productivity savings and building a sustainable platform."

- Revenue down 6.3% to US$987.1m

- Gross profit up 7.2% to $116.8m

- Losses from continuing operations before income tax decrease by 4.5% to -$31.2m

Raisio nine-month operating profits fall

Nine-month sales rose at the Finland-based food group but operating profits declined. The company said it will continue to work toward addressing the "operational and commercial challenges'' at its Leicester confectionery plant. It noted a good performance in Healthy Food & Czech confectionery. 

- Nine-month comparable net sales fall 10% to EUR305.5m (US$354m)

- Comparable EBIT declines 5.2% to EUR36.7m

- Comparable EBITDA drops 5.3% to EUR44.8m

- Net income of EUR21.4m, versus EUR10.1m in the first nine months of 2016

HKScan nine-month profits in the red after full-year outlook revision

The Finnish meat processor reported nine-month results after revising its full-year forecast for underlying operating profit to turn a loss due to higher costs associated with the ramp up of production at a new poultry unit in Rauma. Late in October, the company predicted annual comparable profit, or EBIT, would come in at a loss compared to income of EUR13.2m (US$15.3m) a year earlier. 

- Nine-month net sales to 30 September fall 4.1% to EUR1.33bn

- Comparable operating profit (EBIT) in the red at EUR5.3m versus income of EUR7.2m a year earlier

- Books a comparable loss before tax of EUR11.7m compared to a positive EUR0.4m

Kerry Group's interim volume growth within target

The Ireland-based company looks on course to meet new volume-growth targets after announcing its interim nine-month performance to 30 September.

- Books growth of 4.2% in total business volumes (annual target 3%-5%) 

- Taste and nutrition segment volumes rise 4.6% (4%-6%)

- Consumer foods up 2.5% (2%-3%)

In terms of trading margins:

- Taste and nutrition climbs 20 basis points (target 40 bps)

- Consumer foods falls 70 bps (plus 20 bps)

Fraser and Neave profit falls on Vinamilk funding

The Singapore food and drinks company's annual attributable profit before fair value adjustments* slipped partly due to a rise in financing costs – borrowings to fund additional shares in Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk), with the stake now at 18.74%.

- Revenue down 4% at SGD1.9bn (US$1.4bn) in 12 months to 30 September

- PBIT (operating profit before interest, tax and exceptional items) dips 3% to SGD174m

- Attributable profit before fair value adjustments and exceptional items* falls 8.3% to SGD100m

- PAT (profit after tax) at SGD1.28bn compared to SGD108m


Tuesday 7 November

Bel sales pick up but Q3 – but issues margin warning

French cheese and desserts maker Groupe Bel saw its sales growth accelerate in the third quarter compared to the first half of 2017 – but warned a rise in commodity prices would hit second-half margins.

In a trading update, Bel said it now its second-half operating margin to "decline significantly" when compared to the corresponding period a year earlier.

Selected sales figures:

- Nine-month sales up 15.3% at EUR2.51bn

- Excluding recent acquisition of Mont-Blanc Materne and exchange rates, sales grew 2.5%

- Q3 sales 16% to EUR847m

- Underlying Q3 sales up 5%

Hain Celestial profits surge

First-quarter profit surged for the US-based food group, with sales led by double-digit growth in Canada and Europe, and single-digit growth in the US, UK and its Hain Pure Protein business.

- Net sales rise 4% to US$708.3m in quarter ended 30 September

- EBITDA climbs 60% to $51.3m; adjusted EBITDA up 30% at $59.5m

- Net income increases to $19.8m from $8.6m

Barclays analyst Andrew Lazar said: "Hain's US sales growth of +4% YOY in F1Q18, while a bit ahead of our estimate, was well ahead of the flattish overall consumption in the quarter – although excluding the SKU rationalisation and inventory adjustments in the year ago period, reported sales and consumption match up more closely. Separately, even if we just focus on Hain's top selling 500 SKUs, which are the clear focus and account for 93% of sales, US consumption rose just +1% YOY in the past 12 weeks – better than the average packaged good space to be sure, but still below the growth coming from the overall natural and organic space."

Snyder's-Lance turns to nine-month loss

The US snacks group posted an increase in nine-month revenue but saw profits turn to a loss. Even so, the company said it was on-track to deliver full-year sales results of US$2.2bn to US$2.26bn.

- Nine-month revenue rises 7.7% to $1.67bn through 30 September

- Posts operating loss of $7.5m versus profit of $60.3m a year earlier

- Net earnings turn to $40.4m loss from $23.4m profit

Dean Foods third-quarter profit slides to near US$1m

The US dairy group's profit almost collapsed in the third quarter as challenges in volumes and the private-label mix continued, while the company said it incurred incremental costs associated with hurricanes in Florida and Texas. Total volume across all its products fell 6.6% to 608m gallons.

- Net sales drop 1.4% to US$1.93bn in quarter ended 30 September

- Books operating loss from continuing operations before taxes of $13.7m versus $26.6m profit a year earlier

- Net income slides to $1.38m versus $14.5m

Mixed bag for Inventure Foods

Inventure Foods, which last month agreed a deal to be acquired by fellow US snack maker Utz Quality Foods, has seen its revenue increase but profit dip in the nine months to 30 September.

- Net revenue up 4.1% at US$84.2m

- Gross profit down 8% at $13.8m

- Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations down 150% at -$3.5m

- Net loss of $40.4m, compared to $3.9m a year earlier.

ABF grocery revenue up over FY

Associated British Foods said "good progress" was made in its grocery division in its full-year results to 16 September, pointing to the performance of ACH in the US and George Weston Foods in Australia. But it said grocery results were held back by the trading environment faced by the UK bakeries. 

- Grocery divisional revenue up 9.17% to GBP3.38bn (US$4.44bn). At constant exchange rates, revenue was flat year-on-year

- Divisional adjusted operating profit up 3.1% to GBP303m. At constant rates, adjusted operating profit dropped 6%

- Adjusted operating profit margin down 5.2% at 9%

News update: Associated British Foods to close UK sports nutrition plant

Boparan Holdings annual profits slide on commodity inflation

The UK food company posted a slide in profits in the year to 29 July due to higher-than-expected commodity price inflation in what it said was a "tough'' trading environment. The parent of poultry processor 2 Sisters Food Group said the impact from the closure of its West Bromwich plant in the Midlands during September will be felt in the first quarter.

- Annual sales rise 5.1% to GBP3.29bn (US$4.3bn)

- Operating profit drops 24.5% to GBP68.3m

- Profit after exceptional items, before interest and taxes, falls to GBP22.8m from GBP63.4m a year earlier

Under-scrutiny 2 Sisters poultry plant to resume production

9M sales rise at Universal Robina but profits pressured

Philippines-based group Universal Robina Corp. has reported higher nine-month sales but lower profits.

URC, the owner of businesses including New Zealand biscuit maker Griffin's Foods, said exchange rates, input costs and a slower-than-expected recovery in Vietnam weighed on earnings. The company's business in Vietnam suffered from a drinks recall in 2016.

Nine-month results:

- Net sales rose 13.1% to PHP92.42bn

- Operating income fell 7.4% to PHP10.77bn

- Net income slid 21.2% to PHP8.41bn

Parag Milk Foods enjoys sales hike

India's Parag Milk Foods heralded a robust performance in its second quarter ended 30 September, with revenue and earnings both up.

- Sales up 6.7% YOY at INR5.04bn (US$775m).

- EBITDA up 40% at INR630m

- Net profit after tax more than doubled to INR249m.


Monday 6 November

Bonduelle Group's euro-zone revenue growth remains muted

The France-based international vegetable supplier posted more than 43% growth in first-quarter reported revenue, but continued to see a muted performance in the euro zone. The company said the acquisition of Ready Pac Foods, now Bonduelle Fresh Americas, is "proving to be fully satisfactory''. 

- Reported revenue rises 43.9% to EUR690.6m (US$799m) in quarter to 30 September (up 2.5% on a like-for-like basis)

- Euro-zone turnover dips 0.3% to EUR313.2m

- Non-euro zone earnings surge to EUR377.4m from EUR165.7m

Kepler Cheuvreux equity reserach analyst Baptiste de Leudeville said: "By region, the dynamic looks similar to what was observed during the FY2016-17, i.e. stable top line in the mature European market (-0.4% LFL) and high-single-digit organic growth outside Europe. We point out the 13% growth recorded by Ready Pac Foods in US dollars (likely to be high-single digit in euro terms) and a solid performance in eastern Europe."

Thai Union Group profits up on Red Lobster, Avanti investments

Net profits at seafood giant Thai Union Group, which supplies John West canned tuna, continued to benefit from investments in Red Lobster and Avanti Feeds, but it reported lower operating profits and rising interest expenses.

- Nine-month sales rise 0.8% to THB101.4bn (US$3.06bn)

- Operating profit, or EBIT, drops 3.3% to THB6.7bn

- Net profit up 6.1% at THB4.6bn

Century Pacific books 9M sales, profit growth

Century Pacific Food saw its sales and profits rise in the first nine months of 2017 but the Philippine canning food business' top-line growth outpaced that on its bottom line amid pressure from input costs - which was central to a fall in its profits in the third quarter of the year.

For the nine months to 30 September:

- Consolidated revenues up 21% at PHP25.27bn

- Operating income inched up 0.9% to PHP2.99bn

- Net income rose 2% to PHP2.21bn


Thursday 2 November

Saputo HY sales up

Canadian dairy business Saputo, which in the last week has struck deals to buy Australian dairy cooperative Murray Goulburn and US goat cheese firm Betin, has booked positive results across revenue, EBITDA and net earnings for the first half of its financial year to 30 September.

- Revenue up 5.5% to CAD5.77bn (US$4.5bn)

- EBITDA up 3.9% at CAD684.7m

- Net earnings up 4.6% at CAD385.5m

Earnings call news update: Saputo confident it can turn around "distressed" Murray Goulburn

Eyeing Asia, Saputo moves for Murray Goulburn - editor's viewpoint

Kraft Heinz claim "momentum" continuing

Kraft Heinz has booked improved nine-month profits despite lower sales, although the baked beans and ketchup giant eked out revenue growth in the third quarter.

"We continued to build top- and bottom-line momentum from operations during the third quarter, and expect to see the same in the fourth quarter," Kraft Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees said.

For the nine months to 30 September:

- Net sales at US$19.36bn, versus $19.63bn a year earlier

- Operating income stood at $5.13bn, against $4.56bn in the first nine months of 2016

- Net income reached $3bn, versus $2.51bn

TreeHouse Foods slashes EPS guidance 

The biggest supplier of private-label foods in the US slashed its full-year share guidance for a second time as nine-month profits slid 57%. While sales in the baked goods and condiments divisions rose 15.8% and 3.1%, respectively, meals dropped 4.3% and snacks fell 2.8%.

- Nine-month net sales rise 4.5% to US$4.6bn

- Operating income drops 31.6% to $101.4m

- Net income falls to $22.8m from $53.2

- 2017 share guidance cut by as much as 15% to $2.8 after the top-line estimate was lowered to $3.30 in August.

Editor's viewpoint - It's not child's play for TreeHouse Foods right now

Land O'Lakes sees rise in earnings

Chris Policinski, president and CEO of the US agri-food business, said: "Despite strong headwinds and volatility in commodities, Land O'Lakes continues to grow based on smart investments and a focused strategy."

Nine months to 30 September

- Sales up 2.3% at US$10.2bn

- Earnings from operations up 4.7% at $302.2m

- Net earnings up 9.7% at $270.3m

Apetit nine-month losses widen

The Finland-based food group reported losses widened in the first nine months, but said food solutions improved sales and profits while grain and oil seed products saw "reasonable'' growth despite "challenging conditions''. Sales of frozen and fresh products increased and profits improved.

- Nine-month group sales (including discontinued operations) fall 4% to EUR276m from a year earlier

- Loss in operating profit at EUR3.8m versus loss of EUR0.7m

- Net loss widens to EUR3m from EUR1.2m


Wednesday 1 November

B&G Foods revenues climb but profit continues to fall

The New Jersey-based owner of the Green Giant range saw both third-quarter and nine-month sales increase and raised its full-year guidance to US$1.66bn to US$1.685bn. 

- Nine-month sales rose 22% to US$1.19bn (Q3 up 28% at $408m)

- Adjusted EBITDA climbs 1.8% to $264m
(excludes impact of acquisition-related inventory step-up, related expenses and loss on sale of assets)

- Net income drops 8.7% to $87.6m

- Reaffirms adjusted EBITDA guidance at $352.5m to $367.5m 

Glanbia revenue led by volume growth

The Ireland-based dairy and sports nutrition group posted a 6.6% increase in revenue for the first nine months in terms of its wholly-owned businesses from continuing operations, driven by volume growth of 2.4%, pricing of 0.9% and acquisitions of 3.3%.

(The company did not provide end figures for its results)

- Total group revenue, including share of joint ventures and associates, climbs 13.5% on a reported basis 

- The nutrition segment's revenue rises 4.6%, driven by a pricing increase of 2.5%, mainly due to improved dairy markets and volume growth of 2.1% 

- The performance nutrition sector delivers a 9% increase in revenue

Jefferies analyst Martin Deboo said: "Glanbia continues to see positive sales momentum at the 9M, and FY guidance of high single-digit EPS growth is being maintained. The incremental news from Q3 is that Glanbia is seeing increased competitive pricing pressure in Glanbia Performance Nutrition & US Cheese. The implication from maintained guidance is that it has sufficient gross margin headroom to manage through this. But we expect the market to continue to fret around the absence of positive price realisation in Glanbia Performance Nutrition."

Atlantic Grupa sees growth across all business segments

The Croatian snacks, spreads and sports food maker said its nine-month results reflected an improvement in revenue and profitability in all business segments and major markets. The company said problems faced by its major individual customer, Agrokor, are fully annulled by extended cooperation with other retail partners. 

- Nine-month sales rise 4.4% to EUR531m (US$618m)

- EBITDA climbs 5.1% to EUR59.2m

- Net profit increases 2.8% to EUR31.9m 

- Atlantic Grupa's savoury spreads segment grows 7.9% while snacks rises 5.7% 

Agrokor outlines viability plan to sustain troubled company


Tuesday 31 October

Kellogg 9M profits up, gets some sales cheer in Q3

Kellogg today (31 October) booked higher nine-month profits, helped by moves to increase productivity, while the US cereal and snacks group saw sales trends in parts of its business improve in the third quarter.

Shares in Kellogg were up in early trading as the company's third-quarter revenue and underlying earnings per share beat analyst forecasts.

For the nine months to 30 September:

- Reported net sales down 2% at US$9.71bn. Sales by this metric inched up 0.6% in Q3

- Currency-neutral comparable net sales fell 3% and were down 1.4% in the third quarter

- Reported operating profit 1.6% lower at $1.28bn but rose 13.1% in Q3

-  Currency-neutral comparable operating profit up 8.7% at $1.64bn and by 17.5% in Q3

- Net income 12.6% higher at $841m. Q3 net income up 1.7%

Fresh Del Monte Produce results hit by oversupply

The fresh fruit and vegetable supplier said third-quarter sales edged up 0.3% and profits slid amid one of the industry's worst oversupplies of bananas in "several years''. However, the company saw "strong'' sales in its fresh produce business, which accounted for 49% of sales versus 43% for bananas.

- Sales rise to US$952.7m from $950.2m a year earlier (nine-month sales climb 2.3% to $3.13bn)

- Operating income drops 62% to $16.7m (Over nine months, falls 37.8% to $150m) 

- Net income attributable to the company declines 67% to $11.5m (Nine-month result down 41% at $125.9m)

Indofood warns of "subdued" demand

Indonesia-based food giant Indofood has booked higher nine-month sales and profits but issued a note of caution on consumer demand.

President, director and CEO Anthoni Salim said: "Market condition has not improved significantly in the third quarter. Demand for fast moving consumer goods remains subdued, while competition is increasing. Despite these conditions, we are able to deliver growth in top line and operating profit."

For the nine months to the end of September:

- Consolidated net sales grew 6.5% to IDR53.12trn (US$3.92bn)

- Income from operations increased 14.6% to IDR6.8trn

- Income attributable to equity holders of the parent entity rose 1.2% to IDR3.28trn


Monday 30 October

Mondelez 9M profits up but sales down

The US-based snacks giant yesterday (30 October) reported lower nine-month revenues but saw its profits helped by the proceeds of an asset disposal in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year and by the company's efforts to reduce costs.

On an organic basis, Mondelez saw its revenue growth accelerate in the third quarter after a second quarter in which a malware attack weighed on its sales.

- Nine-month net revenue falls 1.2% to US$18.93bn (Q3 up 2.1% at $6.53bn)

- Operating income rises 29% to $2.66bn (Q3 climbs 68% to $1.18bn)

- Net earnings increase 34.9% to $2.13bn (Q3 rises 81% to $993m)

Pablo Zuanic, an analyst at US investment and trading firm Susquehanna International Group, said Mondelez's third-quarter earnings per share was above expectations but reflected on the company's nine-month sales.

"MDLZ beat by 3c, with 1c explained by sales (the gross margin miss was offset by lower than expected SGA). Although the recovery from the 2Q malware incident supposedly led to the +2.8% organic sales growth in 3Q, we note: a) year-to-date organic sales growth for Mondelez is only up 0.3%; b) North America volumes increased only 0.7% after the -7% malware hit in 2Q; and c) LatAm and Asia volumes were down (with local inflation pricing flattering the 'organic' consolidated sales growth. The company is still far from its now lower organic sales growth target for 2017 of 'approximately 1%' (versus 'at least 1% before')."

Earnings call news update: Food industry changing faster than before, says outgoing Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld

Brazil's M. Dias Branco sees Q3 sales growth ease

Brazil-based food group M. Dias Branco has booked improved sales and earnings in the first nine months of 2017, although its top-line growth eased in the third quarter when compared to the second three-month period of the year.

Nevertheless, the company reported its volumes grew across all its product lines in the third quarter.

M. Dias Branco reported lower EBITDA margins in the third-quarter year-on-year but pointed to investment in its supply chain and in marketing.

For the nine months to the end of September:

- Net revenue up 3.2% at BRL4.05bn (US$1.24bn)

- EBITDA rose 13.8% to BRL772.1m

- Net profit grew 17.2% to BRL642.4m

Grupo Nutresa sales rise

The Colombia-based food group said its consolidated results were led by growth in its local market and "sustained'' growth in international revenues.

- Third-quarter sales in Columbia climb 3.1% to COP4tn   

- Overseas sales, excluding Venezuela, at COP2.3tn

- Consolidated revenue rises 2.6% to COP6.4tn 

- Operating profit falls 6.6% to COP605bn

- Consolidated net profit increases 3.5% to COP327bn

Podravka profits slide 62%

The Croatian food producer said nine-month sales were hit by the absence of beverage revenues and lower sales through participation in tenders of meat products, meat solutions and savoury spreads. Profit was down primarily due to higher costs related to termination benefits and exercised share options. 

- Sales dropped 1.6% to HRK3bn (US$463.8m) - western European sales were up 6.5%, eastern Europe up 7.5%

- EBITDA declines 24.6% to HRK254m

- Realised profit falls 62% to HRK54m

Domty profits more than double

Arabian Food Industries, Egypt's biggest cheese maker known as Domty, saw third-quarter earnings and profit double on improved sales volumes.

- Sales climb to EGP680m (US$38.5m) from EGP453m

- EBITDA rises to EGP69m versus EGP33m

- EBIT up at EGP55m from EGP21m

- Net profit increases to EGP22m compared to EGP10m


Thursday 26 October

Bakery behemoth Bimbo sees profits sag

Mexico-based bakery giant Grupo Bimbo has seen its nine-month profits fall, despite rising sales, amid integration and restructuring costs across a number of countries.

For the nine months to the end of September:

- Net sales rose 7.3% to MXN196.58bn (US$10.21bn), with sales up across Bimbo's four geographic divisions

- Operating income fell 10.5% to MXN13.05bn as costs ate into earnings at Donuts Iberia and Bimbo's operations in Brazil and Argentina

- Net majority income dips 27.7% to MXN4.2bn

Seneca Foods makes H1 loss, sees growth in underlying profits

US canned products supplier Seneca Foods has booked a half-year loss thanks to a LIFO charge but its underlying profits – and its sales – rose.

For the six months to the end of September:

- Net sales stood at US$656.5m, versus $609.9m a year earlier

- Seneca's operating income was $2.4m, against $12.8m the corresponding period a year earlier. Operating earnings, excluding LIFO and plant restructuring costs, were $20.3m, compared to $18.6m a year ago

- The company booked a first-half net loss of $2m, versus a profit of $6m a year earlier

Hershey sales rise but net profit dips

In a busy day for results on Thursday (26 October), the US confectionery maker reported an increase in sales for both the third quarter and first nine months and said the snacking sector continued to outpace the market. But profits dropped. The company reaffirmed its full-year outlook and expects sales to grow about 1.25%.

- Nine-month sales rise 1.9% to US$5.58bn

- Operating profit drops 3.1% US$946m

- Net income dipped 0.2% to US$601.8m

Sanford Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard said: "Hershey saw mixed results in 3Q:17 – North American volume was up 1.6%, although adjusted gross margin was 30 basis points light at 45.3%. Encouragingly, sales growth in North American remains relatively robust: 1.6% volume growth in North America is much better than other non-snack companies are seeing in the centre of the store, and this was only slightly offset by a 0.3% reduction in price.

"We continue to believe that a more rapid decline in cocoa costs will favour Hershey's gross margin likely beginning in the second half of next year. and if coupled with continued top line growth, stable SG&A and modest share repurchases, then Hershey's earnings growth algorithm could accelerate. However, given the near-term gross margin pressures that the company belaboured this quarter, we now expect this acceleration to be delayed until 2H:18."

Pinnacle Foods profits slide

The US food company saw nine-month profits slide 28% due to "unfavourable discrete impacts'' such as the exit and recall of Aunt Jemima products, the winding down of the Boulder UK business and a SKU rationalisation programme. It also noted the impact from Hurricane Harvey. 

- Nine-month net sales flat at US$2.26bn

- Earnings before interest and tax fall 18.6% to US$249m

- Net income drops to US$88.4m from US$122.97m

Maple Leaf Foods sales up on 9M basis

The Canadian meat packaging company saw sales rise but net earnings dip for the nine months to 30 September compared tp the same period last year. Michael McCain, president and CEO, said:"We are accelerating profitable growth by leveraging our leadership in sustainability and executing on our strategies, which provides significant market differentiation and growth opportunities."

- Sales up 5.7% at CAD2.64bn (US$2.07bn)

- Adjusted operating earnings up 13.4% at CAD199.2m

- Net earnings down 0.5% at CAD105m

- Adjusted EBITDA margin up 0.6% at 10.9%

Reflecting on Maple Leaf's Q3 margins, TD Securities analyst Michael Van Aelst said: "EBITDA margin improved to 10.6% (vs 10.3% LY) but fell slightly short of our 11.0% estimate on the delay in passing along the higher costs. The good news, in our opinion, is that significant volatility in raw material costs used to wreak more havoc on margins, but improved pricing mechanisms, lower production costs and the greater value-added product portfolio appears to have now significantly reduced this volatility."

Lancaster Colony sales rise but profit drops after realignment

The US food group said first-quarter sales rose as it realigned its business reporting segments to retail and foodservice.

- Net sales rise 2.6% to US$298.9m in quarter ended 30 September

- Consolidated operating income fell 12.8% to US$44.3m

- Net income drops 12% to US$29.4m

9M profits grow at Finland's Atria

Higher sales and improved productivity have boosted nine-month profits at Finland-based food group Atria.

For the nine months to the end of September:

- Net sales of EUR1.06bn (US$1.25bn), versus EUR994.9m a year ago

- EBIT of EUR27.5m, against EUR21m a year earlier

- Net profit reached EUR18.2m, compared to EUR12.8m.


Wednesday 25 October

Ebro Foods profit almost flat

The Spanish food group saw revenue and profit edge up less than 1% in the first nine months. In its pasta segment, a rise in raw materials prices pushed up costs in North America, while the company noted consumption in Europe was lower than usual due to the hot weather.

- Net turnover climbs 0.6% to EUR1.83bn (US$2.16bn)

- EBITDA increases 4.3% to EUR261m

- Net profit up 0.5% at EUR128m

- Full-year revenue to rise 2.2% to EUR2.5bn (profit in line with 2016 at EUR170m)

Norwegian dairy Tine sees pressure on sales

Tine, the Norway-based dairy co-op, has reported falling sales and operating income in the first nine months of 2017.

Third-quarter sales fell 1.8%, steeper than the 0.2% seen over the year to date. Tine said sales fell in "most categories in which the company is present".

The company said it would look to make cost savings amid the pressure on sales. It expects to save "at least NOK450m (US$54.8m)" in 2018, CEO Hanne Refsholt said.

For the nine months to 30 September:

- Sales revenues of NOK16.32bn, down 0.2% on the first nine months of 2016

- Operating profit dropped 10.8% to NOK1.26bn

- Pre-tax profit slid 13.4% to NOK1.18bn

Industrias Bachoco benefits from higher volumes

The Mexican poultry group said nine-month sales rose almost 14% due to higher volumes and prices. The company experienced "normalized'' supply and good demand in its Mexican market, and "solid'' prices in the US.

- Sales climb 13.8% to MXN43bn (US$2.2bn); 27% generated from US

- Operating income increases 16.9% to MXN4.42bn

- Net income up 13% at MXN3.37bn

Cloetta operating profit falls

The Swedish confectionery group said operating profit fell 13% in the first nine months after saying in September it may book a decline of as much as 22% due to lower volumes, increased raw materials costs and exchange-rate effects. The company said today conditions were challenging amid a fire at its Turnhout plant in Belgium.

- Nine-month net sales rise 17% to SEK1.5bn (US$182m)

- EBIT falls to SEK169m

- Profit for the period from continuing operations down 3.6% to SEK217m

Orkla profit increase led by top-line growth, cost savings

The Nordic food group said third-quarter total operating profit increased due to top-line growth and cost savings. Orkla food division's saw revenue rise 2.6%, while revenue from its confectionery and snacks business was up 2%. 

- Operating revenue rose 5% to NOK9.86bn (US$1.2bn) in quarter to 30 September. (Orkla foods NOK4bn; confectionery and snacks NOK1.5bn)

- EBIT climbs 8% to NOK1.27bn

- Pre-tax profit up 13% at NOK1.31bn

Tuesday, 24 October

Grupo Lala notes challenging US dairy market as revenues rise

The Mexican dairy firm noted "strong' sales in 2017 helped by productivity improvements, but a challenging US dairy market. Revenues were led by organic growth in Mexico and Central America, with a strong performance in cream and cheese.

- Third-quarter sales rise 9.6% to MXN15bn (US$784.6m)

- EBITDA up 25.7% at MXN1.86bn

- Net income increases 33.7% to MXN1.01bn

Wessanen earnings supported by acquisitions, weak pound

The Dutch health foods group - which produces Whole Earth peanut butter - reported a 29% increase in nine-month profit and said the acquisitions of Piramide, Ineobio, Mrs Crimble's and Biogran contributed 5.2% to third-quarter revenue, while the depreciation of the British pound added 0.8%. Full-year growth is expected to be in the low double-digit range aided by growth in its own brands, with the effect of 2016 acquisitions to be partly offset by lower private label and distribution brand sales. 

- Revenue climbs 11.8% to EUR473m (US$172.8m)

- EBIT up 27.9% at EUR42.2m

- Profit rises 29% to EUR28.8m

Monday 23 October

Almarai revenues drops as "tough'' market conditions persist

The Saudi Arabia-based dairy and poultry company reported a 2.9% drop in nine-month revenues as "tough'' market conditions persisted amid an environment of lower exports, subdued consumer sentiment, higher operating costs and the impact from the devaluation of the Egyptian pound.

- Reports nine-month revenue of SAR10.5bn (US$2.8bn) in period to 30 September

- Operating profit climbs 5.4% to SAR1.98bn

- Consolidated net profit up 3.6% at SAR1.67bn

- Comprehensive income rises 17% to SAR1.75bn

Thursday 19 October

Nestle RIG climbs 1.8%; restructuring to hit operating profit margin

Nestle, the world's largest food maker, reported an increase in real internal growth - an internal metric referring to organic growth but stripping out the impact of pricing - for the first nine months of the year, with third-quarter growth accelerating from the second.

However, the company expects its trading operating profit margin to drop 40 to 60 basis points due to higher restructuring costs. The Swiss group said net divestments had a negative impact of 2.6% due to the creation of the Froneri ice cream joint venture.

- Nine-month reported sales fall 0.4% to CHF65.3bn (US$66.6bn)

- Real internal growth climbs 1.8% (organic growth up 2.6%)

- Confirms full-year guidance and so expects annual organic sales growth to stay around the same level for the first nine months

Ice cream cools Unilever sales in Q3

Unilever today (19 October) reported higher nine-month sales from its foods and refreshment divisions - but sales growth from the latter slowed in the third quarter compared to the second.

Nine-month sales growth:

- Foods underlying sales up 0.9%; volumes down 1.1%

- Refreshment underlying sales 5.1% higher; volumes slide 2.4%

Third-quarter sales growth:

- Foods underlying sales rise 1.5%; volumes inch up 0.3%

- Underlying sales from Refreshment 3.1% higher; volumes flat

Unilever plans to start the combination of its foods and refreshment divisions - a move announced in April - in January next year.

Sanford Bernstein analyst Andrew Wood, reflecting on the divisional performance in the third quarter, wrote: "Foods (+1.5) saw a slight sequential acceleration over Q2 (+1.2%), driven by strong performance in Knorr.

"However, growth was impacted by high promotional intensity, especially in North America. Spreads saw a further improvement in growth (-2.0%) over previous quarters, with Foods growth ex-spreads (+2.7%) seeing an acceleration over Q2 (+2.3%). Refreshment (+3.1%) saw a slowdown over the very strong Q2 (+6.7%), as poorer weather in Europe and higher competitive activity in North America dragged on volumes in ice cream. Innovations behind premium brands including Magnum and Breyers delights continue to perform well."

Gruma experiences a fall in income

Mexican food group Gruma - which produces the Mission tortilla brand - suggested its performance during 2017 remained in line with its expectations for the year despite a Q3 dip in sales and earnings. Operating income was also down in Q3.

- Net sales, down 0.4% at MXN17.13bn (US$910.3m)

- Operating income, down 5% at MXN2.31bn

- EBITDA, down 0.2% at MXN2.8bn

Wednesday 18 October

Abbott Laboratories confident on full-year earnings guidance

US pharmaceuticals group Abbott Laboratories, which has a child nutrition division, said it is "very pleased" with its Q3, 2017 performance. Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "We're well-positioned to achieve the upper end of our initial full-year EPS guidance range."

Paediatric Division sales:

- US, up 5.2% at US$436m

- International, down 2.4% at $539m

- Total, up 0.8% at $975m

Tuesday 17 October

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$1.8bn

- 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, 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.