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.

George Weston food division results hit by FX, restructuring

Canada-based George Weston’s food products division reported lower full-year sales and profits due to the impact from foreign-exchange affects and restructuring charges in the fourth quarter.

– Weston Foods’ sales fall 1.1% to US$2.24bn in year to 31 December

– Operating income drops 47.4% to $91m

– Adjusted EBITDA declines 13.5% to $256m

Looking forward to 2018, both Weston Foods sales and EBITDA are expected to be flat from 2017, with growth in volumes likely to be offset by product rationalisation. While EBITDA is expected to see improvements related to the company’s “transformation” programme and productivity drive, it expects to face headwinds from higher input and distribution costs due to inflation.

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Thursday 1 March

Pinnacle Foods underlying profits up in 2017

Pinnacle Foods, which owns the Birds Eye frozen food brand in the US, reported a rise in underlying profits in 2017, CEO Mark Clouse said it was “another year of exceptional in-market performance”.

Clouse said Pinnacle’s retail consumption and market share grew “for the sixth consecutive year”.

He added: “At the same time, our financial results reflected a number of discrete issues that we navigated during the year, with the acceleration of strategic manufacturing investments strengthening our network and positioning us well for the future.”

For the year to 31 December:

– Net sales up by 0.5% to US$3.14bn, or by 2.5% when excluding the sales from the Aunt Jemima business it exited in May

– Earnings before interest and taxes down 6.5% to $448.7m

– Adjusted EBIT up 5.7% at $569.3m

– Net earnings up 152.2% to $532.2m, boosted by items including a benefit from US tax reform

– Adjusted net earnings 20% higher at $304.4m

Land O’Lakes books “record” full-year profits

US agri-food business Land O’Lakes reported “record” full-year profits driven by a “strong performance across its portfolio and strategic growth across the business”. 

– Sales rise 3.8% to US$13.7bn

– Net profit climbs 14% to $364.8m

For the dairy division, pre-tax profits edge up 1.3% to $71m based on sales of $3.9bn, a 2.6% increase

Orior enjoys 10.9% FY sales hike

Orior, the Swiss fresh convenience foods and meat products group behind brands such as Rapelli and Pastinella, saw both profits and sales increase in 2017, on a like-for-like basis, but it struggled for growth in its domestic business.

It said: “It was still not possible to grow the Swiss business during the past year. Excluding the effects of the Culinor Food Group acquisition and exchange-rate movements, group revenues in 2017 declined by 2.4% from the previous year. The main reasons for this contraction were the challenging environment in Switzerland and the associated pricing and competitive pressure.”

– Net sales up 10.9% to CHF585.5m (US$618.2m)

– EBITDA up 12.1% to CHF57.7m

– Net profit up 12.8% to CHF32m

Total Produce profits climb as acquisitions bear fruit

Ireland-based fruit and vegetable company Total Produce said acquisitions completed in the past 12 months contributed to the rise in full-year revenues and profits but noted those were offset by foreign-currency adjustments into euros. 

Preliminary results for year to 31 December:

– Revenue rises 13.9% to EUR4.29bn (US$5.23bn)

– Adjusted EBITDA up 10.1% at EUR104.4m

– Net profit before tax climbs 43.2% to EUR72.5m

Bonduelle H1 profits up

France-based vegetable business Bonduelle has booked rising half-year profits, helped by its acquisition of US business Ready Pac Foods and its legacy operations.

Bonduelle, which acquired Ready Pac last year, said the deal had been a factor in its improved profitability, although it had a “more limited” impact than expected amid “sourcing issues”.

However, the company said its underlying businesses inside and outside Europe saw their profitability rise.

Bonduelle expects its full-year turnover to rise by around 25% at constant exchange rates. The group is also forecasting a circa 20% increase in its current operating profitability at constant exchange rates.

For the first six months of Bonduelle’s fiscal year:

– Turnover up 38.5% at EUR1.42bn (US$1.73bn)

– Current operating profit of EUR66m, up 8.3%

– Consolidated net profit rose 3.3% to EUR37.7m

Apetit profits surge helped by new products 

Finland-based food group Apetit reported a surge in profits in the year to 31 December helped by new product launches.

Chief executive Guha Vanhainen commented: “In 2017, Apetit established its position as the leading Finnish brand in vegetable-based food solutions. Its improved awareness is supported by the fact that the company introduced new products at a record pace and expanded into new product groups.” 

– Net sales increase 1% to EUR314m (US$383.2m)

– Operational EBITDA rises 17% to EUR6.8m

– Operational EBIT up 63% at EUR1.3m

– Profit climbs 45% to EUR2.9m

Croatia’s Podravka reports lower FY sales, earnings

Podravka, the Croatia-based consumer goods group, has booked declining revenues and profits for 2017.

The company pointed to the discontinuation of operations in the beverage sector in 2016, as well as the well-documented issues at Croatia’s largest retailer Agrokor.

For the year to 31 December 2017:

– Revenues of HRK4.11bn, versus HRK4.19bn in 2016

– Net profit stood at HRK54.4m, down more than 70%

– “Normalised” net profit reached HRK165.6m, some 16.2% lower

Wednesday, 28 February

Hostess Brands hails “strong finish” to 2017

US snacks business Hostess Brands saw its sales growth accelerate in the fourth quarter of 2017, a year in which it saw revenues and earnings rise.

Hostess said the 9.7% increase in fourth-quarter net sales represented “the company’s best organic growth rate for the year”. 

It pointed to the introduction of Hostess Bakery Petites, a range made with no artificial flavours or colours, as well as no high fructose corn syrup.

For the year to 31 December:

– Net revenue of US$776.2m, versus a pro-forma $727.6m in 2016

– Net income of $223.9m, against a pro-forma $53.7m

Bel forecasts drop in 2017 operating income

Groupe Bel, the France-based cheese and desserts maker, saw its sales rise in 2017 but said its operating income is “expected to decline markedly” on 2016.

In a sales update, the Boursin maker posted a 10.3% rise in fourth-quarter sales, boosted by its acquisition of a majority stake in fellow French business MOM Brands in 2016.

Bel said on an organic basis its sales rose 1.5% in the last three months of the year.

For 2017 as a whole, Bel’s sales were up 14% at EUR3.35bn (US4.08bn) and rose 2.3% on an organic basis.

Bel plans to reports its full 2017 results next Friday (9 March). The company said, however, higher dairy commodity prices had had an impact on its operating income in 2017, while it saw more pressure from exchange rates in the second half of the year.

Natra cuts full-year net losses by half

The Spanish chocolate producer reduced its net loss by almost half in 2017 and after “heavy investments” expects to return to profits in 2018.

– Sales increase 2% to EUR372.5m (US$454.5m)

– Adjusted EBITDA climbs 19% to EUR26.2m

– Adjusted net loss narrows to EUR6.4m from EUR12.6m a year earlier – net losses would have been EUR9.9m adjusted for expenses

Snyder’s-Lance enjoys FY sales boost 

US snacks business Snyder’s-Lance saw its full year 2017 sales increase by 5.6% while its net income was also up, on a like-for like-basis.

It was announced in December that the company – which has brands including Snyder’s of Hanover and Kettle – is to be taken over by Campbell Soup Co. and as a result Snyder’s is not providing commentary around its figures nor 2018 outlook predictions.

– Net revenue up 5.6% at US$2.22bn

– Adjusted EBITDA up 3.2% to $293.3m

– Net income up 1.9% at $105.5m 

just-food’s analysis of Campbell’s acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance.

Ebro Foods FY profits reap benefits of US tax reform

Ebro Foods‘ full-year profits surged 30%, which the Spain-based manufacturer of rice and pasta said was mainly due to the recent US tax reforms.

Despite higher raw materials prices, Ebro noted its rice division put in a “good performance” in Europe and North America. Results in pasta were “positive” even amid a spike in raw material prices during the summer in Europe and the US. 

– Net turnover rises 1.9% to EUR2.5bn (US$3.05bn)

– EBITDA up 4.3% at EUR359m

– EBIT increases 4.5% to EUR279.3m

– Net profit climbs to EUR220.6m

Despite higher raw materials prices, Ebro noted its rice division put in a “good performance” in Europe and North America. Results in pasta were “positive” even amid a spike in raw material prices in the summer in Europe and the US.

Bakkavor FY revenue and profits up in first post-float results

UK-based ready meals giant Bakkavor has booked a positive set of results for full year 2017 with revenue up by 5.4% and net profit by 13.2%, on a like-for-like basis.

They are the first results released by the company since it floated on the London Stock Exchange late last year.

CEO Agust Gudmundsson said: “This has been an historic year for Bakkavor. We have transformed the group, fully refinancing our lending facilities and listing on the London Stock Exchange, positioning us well for future growth. Our strong trading performance, in a highly inflationary environment, reflects both our market-leading expertise in great tasting food and the strong strategic partnerships with our customers.

“The second half of 2017 saw volume growth impacted as UK consumers reacted to significant inflationary pressure. As expected this trend has continued into 2018 and is likely to remain until inflation eases. Later in the year, we expect our volume growth to benefit from improved market conditions and new business.

“Despite these industry-wide challenges, we are confident that our scale, track record of innovation and focus on operational efficiencies ensures we are well placed to deliver ongoing profitable growth, both from existing business and our long-term investment strategy.”

Year to 30 December

– Revenue up 5.4% to GBP1.8bn (US$2.5bn)

– Adjusted EBITDA up 4.2% to GBP152.6m

– Adjusted profit before tax up 13.2% to GBP84.8m

just-food analysis: Four things to learn from Bakkavor’s 2017 results and 2018 outlook

Atlantic Grupa overcomes Agrokor woe with sales rise

Croatia-based consumer-goods group Atlantic Grupa has reported higher sales and profits for 2017 despite the issues affecting regional retail giant Agrokor.

Atlantic Grupa said it had managed to offset the revenue lost from sales at Agrokor through other retail chains.

The company saw sales from each of its strategic business units, which include divisions that focus on snacks and savoury spreads, increase – except from its sports and functional-foods arm after a restructuring of its portfolio hit sales.

For the year to the end of December 2017:

– Group net sales up 3.9% at HRK5.31bn (US$869.2m)

– EBIT rose 32.1% to HRK406.5m, or by 11% excluding one-off items

– Net profit 69.2% higher at HRK275.5m, or 29.4% when stripping out one-off items

Bega Cheese H1 figures rise across the board

Australian dairy firm Bega Cheese reported an across-the-board rise in its six-months results on the back of an increase in milk production and the contribution from the recently acquired Mondelez Grocery Business. 

– Revenue rises 13.5% to AUD705.2m (US$550.8m) in the six months to 31 December

– EBITDA up 45% at AUD51.7m

– EBIT climbs 66% to AUD38m

– Net profit increases 31% to AUD20.5m

Mondelez Grocery Business (Bega Foods) contributes net revenue of AUD136.6m from 4 July, compared to zero a year earlier  

Group processed 456m litres of milk versus 347m litres a year earlier

Sees reduction in own-label volume through the loss of its Coles contract, which was partly offset by a volume increase at Woolworths 

Bubs Australia losses widen on NuLac Foods costs

Bubs Australia’s first-half losses widened and exceeded revenues as the baby-food business experienced increased costs related to the acquisition of goats milk infant formula producer NuLac Foods. 

– Consolidated revenue rises 86% to AUD3.25m (US$2.5m) in six months to 31 December

– Net loss after tax widens to AUD3.89m from AUD3.53m

According to the earnings statement: “The acquisition of NuLac Foods brings new revenue streams and additional growth drivers into the business and accelerates the company’s plans to be the leading Australian producer of goat dairy products, both for the domestic market and China, where demand has grown well in excess of 30% per annum for the last three years.” 

Bubs Australia moves for local dairy business NuLac Foods

Mixed 2017 results for Yamazaki Baking

Yamazaki Baking, the Japan-based bakery group, has reported rising net sales and net income for 2017 but lower operating income.

For the year to 31 December:

– Net sales of JPY1.05trn, compared to JPY1.04trn a year earlier

– Operating income down from JPY35.17bn in 2016 to JPY30.09bn

– Net income up from JPY18.18bn to JPY25.11bn

Calbee nine-month results hit by sales declines in US

Japanese snacks maker Calbee saw sales and profits decline in the nine months ended December as revenue in the US, its biggest overseas market, declined. However, its full-year forecast envisages a rebound in total sales of more than 30%.

– Net sales drop 1.2% to JPY186.69bn (US$1.74bn)

– Operating income falls 13.7% to JPY19.19bn

– Net profit declines 12.4% to JPY12.98bn

By region:

Domestic sales drop 3.9% to JPY161.49bn

Overseas sales rise 20.6% to JPY25.2bn

  • North America down 10.9% at JPY7.24bn
  • Greater China surges 57.6% to JPY6.31bn
  • South Korea up 0.8% at JPY4.09bn
  • Other Asian countries and Australia’s up 60.9% at JPY6.5bn
  • Europe up 57.5% at JPY1.05bn

Full-year forecast to 31 March:

Sales JPY256bn; operating income JPY27.5bn; profit attributable to shareholders JPY17.5bn (JPY13.07bn)

Tuesday 27 February

B&G Foods expects up-tick from “record” 2017

US-based B&G Foods reported “record” full-year sales in what chief executive Robert Cantwell said was an “impressive year of growth”.

The owner of the Green Giant frozen food brand also expects a further improvement in its 2018 results.

– Net sales rise 20% to US$1.67bn

– Adjusted EBITDA up 3.5% at $333.2m

– Net income climbs 98.7% to $217.5m mainly as a result of recent US tax reforms

For 2018, B&G sees sales climbing to $1.72-$1.76bn, and adjusted EBITDA at around $347-$365m

TasFoods books 2017 loss with Shima Wasabi impairment charge

Australian-listed food company TasFoods booked a net loss in 2017 as the company incurred a goodwill charge associated with its acquisition of Shima Wasabi.

– Revenue climbs 93% to AUD31.1m (US$24.1m) in the 12 months to 31 December from a year earlier

– Net loss before tax AUD6.6m, which included a goodwill impairment charge of AUD2.12m related to last year’s purchase of Shima Wasabi

– Trading net loss, before tax and impairment charge, widens to AUD4.2m from AUD2.6m

“The net loss was below expectations with both the poultry and dairy division experiencing challenging operating conditions,” according to the earnings statement. 

SunOpta FY revenues down 5%

Canada-based food and ingredients group SunOpta‘s full year 2017 results were negatively impacted by “challenges” in its frozen fruit platform. Losses from continuing operations more than doubled on a year-on-year basis.

CEO David Colo said: “In 2017, we continued to make significant progress transforming our business under our value creation plan. These efforts have yielded an improved business mix and a more efficient, reliable and higher-quality production network, which will benefit our long-term growth and margin profile.

“Unfortunately, the positive financial benefits of these efforts have been masked by on-going challenges in our frozen fruit platform, which did not turn around as quickly as expected in 2017. We continue to aggressively reduce our inventories and improve our cost position in a category that we believe has significant unrealised potential.”

– Revenues down 5% at US$1.28bn

– Loss from on-going operations increased by 167.3%% to $135.3m

– Adjusted EBITDA down by 18.2% to $66.8m

– Adjusted loss of $12.3m against a profit of $5.8m in 2016

Murray River Organics’ losses widen despite sales hike

Australian dried fruit producer Murray River Organics saw losses widen markedly in HY fiscal 2018 results the group admitted were “disappointing”.

Revenue more than doubled in the six month period to 31 December but net losses have encouraged the company to introduce a turnaround plan.

CEO George Haggar, said: “Financial performance of MRG was disappointing in the first half. Notwithstanding the one-off
costs which we have brought to book, we are particularly disappointed with the poor margins across the commodity and bulk segments.

“However, the growth potential for MRG as a leading Australian producer, packer and seller of organic, natural and ‘better-for-you’ food products is
evident. A turnaround plan, which in the first instance focuses on improving processes and systems across the supply chain, will assist in realising the embedded value of our company and its high-quality asset base.”

– Revenue up 135.9% at AUD39.4m (US$30.7m)

– EBITDA loss off AUD16m compared to an AUD1.8m profit in H1 2017

– Net loss of AUD22.2m compared to a loss of AUD1.2m in H1 2017.

Leroy Seafood Group FYs up on the back of higher volumes

Norway’s Leroy Seafood Group saw an 8% increase in turnover in 2017 while profits were also up, on a like-for-like basis.

CEO Henning Beltesta said: “We are still experiencing a very strong demand for seafood and salmon. 

“We are leaving behind one of the most exciting and challenging year ever. In 2017 we have fully started efforts to integrate whitefish in the group’s well-established supply chain for redfish, we are developing favourably in downstream activities and we have worked well in aquaculture.”

– Turnover up 8% at NOK18.62bn (US$2.38bn)

– Operating profit up 30.7% at NOK3.71bn

– Profit before tax up 30% at NOK3.80bn

Vilkyskiu Pienine full-year profits up 42%

Lithuanian dairy group Vilkyskiu Pienine reported a rise in full-year sales and profits, with the European Union continuing to dominate revenue generation.

– Sales climb 26% to EUR113.6m (US$140.1m)

– EBITDA up 26% at EUR10.6m

– Net profit increases 42% to EUR6.4m

In terms of regions, the EU accounts for 56% of sales revenue, Lithuania 22%, and other countries 22%.

Annual losses widen at China’s Beingmate

Beingmate Baby & Child Food, the China-based infant formula business, has booked a bigger loss for 2017.

The company also saw operating losses worsen and its revenue fall last year.

In January, New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, which is an investor in Beingmate, reacted to a profit warning from the Chinese business by saying it was “extremely disappointed by … the on-going performance of the company”.

Beingmate reportedly hit back, blaming Fonterra for its losses.

For the year to 31 December, Beingmate’s:

– Total revenue was CNY2.65bn (US$417.1m), down 4.3%

– Operating losses were CNY842.5m, 30.4% higher than 2016

– Net loss attributable to shareholders was CNY963.69bn, 23.4% higher

H1 sales, underlying profits up at Australia’s Freedom Foods Group

Freedom Foods Group, the Australia-based dairy, dairy alternatives and cereal business, has booked a jump in half-year sales and, although its reported profits fell, the company touted its higher underlying profits.

The company is forecasting annual net sales of AUD360-380m (US$282.3m to US$298m) – compared to AUD262m in its previous financial year – and also said today it expects its full-year revenue to come in “at the higher end of this range”.

Freedom Foods Group’s reported first-half profits included the impact of unrealised foreign-exchange losses and restructuring costs.

For the six months to the end of December:

– Net sales up 28.8% at AUD159.6m

– Statutory EBDITA grew 3.5% to AUD12.9m

– Underlying operating EBDITA increased 28.1% to AUD16m

– Reported net profit down 34% at AUD3m

– Operating net profit 5.8% lower at AUD5m

Fresh produce supplier Costa Group books buoyant H1

Australia-based fresh-produce purveyor Costa Group Holdings has reported rising first-half sales and earnings.

The company posted what it called “a strong first-half performance” for the six months to the end of December.

For the six months to 31 December:

– Revenue of AUD489.4m, up 9.8% on a year earlier

– Statutory net profit after tax of $66.2m, which included a $40.1m non-cash gain arising from the revaluation of Costa’s 49% interest previously held in Morocco-based blueberry grower African Blue. In November, Costa announced plans to take its stake to 90%.

– EBITDA before SGARA (self-generating and regenerating assets) and material items rose 24.2% to AUD60.9m

– Net profit after tax before SGARA and material items of increased 14.5% to AUD28.6m

Beston Global Food Co. books “record” H1 sales

Australia’s Beston Global Food Co. booked “record” sales in the first half, with all its business divisions posting profits except its health and nutrition segment.

– Total group revenue up 83% in the six months to 31 December at AUD19.2m (US$15.1m)

– Sales rise 84% to AUD18.3m 
(dairy sales revenues up 45% at AUD17.7m)

– Group EBITDA climbs 51% to AUD2.98m

– Profit before tax increases 35% to AUD3.52m

Monday 26 February

RCL Foods H1 profits rise as sentiment improves

South African food company RCL Foods reported a jump in first-half profits amid signs consumer spending is starting to improve, along with a stabilising poultry market. In the grocery segment, the company said it has a “good pipeline of innovations to be rolled out over the next few months”.  

RCL expects its headline earnings per share for the six months ended in December to be between 69.5 cents and 79.0 cents, compared to 47.6 cents from a year earlier.

– Revenue falls 2.4% to ZAR12.8bn (US$1.1bn)

– EBITDA climbs 33% to ZAR1.2bn

– Profit attributable to shareholders increases to ZAR663.4m from ZAR321.7m

Dean Foods sees FY profits slashed in tough dairy climate

US dairy group Dean Foods saw its net income nearly halve in 2017, compared to the previous year, although sales were marginally up.

Chief executive officer Ralph Scozzafava said: “In 2017, we navigated a rapidly-changing industry landscape and a dynamic retail environment. As we saw the marketplace challenges on volume and mix building, we directed our focus on improving our execution in securing branded and private label volume and immediately began taking steps to lower our overall cost base.

“Some of these actions are already gaining momentum and contributed to our fourth quarter 2017 financial results. These actions become a critical path in our go-forward commercial agenda as well as an aggressive enterprise-wide cost productivity program in 2018 and beyond.

“We are making important choices in 2018 and taking aggressive but necessary steps to drive our strategic plan, reset our company to make Dean Foods more competitive, and enable us to deliver solid and consistent earnings and cash flow over the long term. We must dramatically reduce our cost structure to match our smart volume today, creating the right network and cost base with an eye towards the future.”

Following the announcement, shares were down 11.2% at $9 in pre-market trading on Nasdaq on Monday (26 February).

– Net sales up 1% at US$7.79bn

– Operating income down 68.4% at $83.2m

– Income from continuing operations before tax down 89.5% at $21.2m

– Net income down 48.6% at $61.6m

ABF sees pick-up in H1 grocery revenues

Associated British Foods said it expects to deliver sales growth across all of its business segments in the six months to 3 March and sees its adjusted operating profit for the period holding around the same level as a year earlier.

In its interim results, ABF noted in its outlook for the full year that it expects to have made progress in adjusted operating profit and adjusted earnings per share.  

Its official results are due on 17 April.

– For the grocery division, ABF said first-half revenue should be ahead of last year on a constant-currency basis

– Volumes at Allied Bakeries in the UK remained strong with good trading over the Christmas period and some progress has been made in reducing the loss for this financial year

– Jordans has achieved good overseas growth, especially in Australia, France, Canada and also, with the benefit of recent launches, in New Zealand and Brazil

– In the UK, Ryvita Thins has shown continued growth although sales of crispbread have suffered from strong competition

– At AB World Foods, Patak’s is delivering further share growth following the successful launch of paste pots 

– The integration of Acetum, the recently acquired Modena-based balsamic vinegar business, is progressing well

– Margins continue to improve at George Weston Foods in Australia. The financial result at the Don KRC meat business is ahead with improved trading and factory performance.

Edita’s cakes division drives full-year revenue growth

Egypt-based snack producer Edita Food Industries said its cake segment was the primary contributor to a rise in full-year earnings despite ”severe inflationary pressures and consumers’ diminishing purchasing power”. 

– Revenue rises 21.6% to EGP3.04bn (US$172.1m) in year to 31 December

– EBITDA falls 11% to EGP464.4m

– Net profit surges to EGP212m versus EGP47.4m

Delfi FY profits fall amid “rationalisation programme”

Singapore-based chocolate confectionery company Delfi saw full-year revenue and profits decline.

Delfi explained in its earnings statement that the results “reflected the product rationalisation programme where products cut had underperformed in terms of a higher benchmark for sales velocity and/or margin performance. This is part of the strategic initiatives to re-orient the group’s business in Indonesia for future growth.”

Indonesia is regarded as the company’s core market.

– Revenue in year to 31 December falls 5.3% to US$380.9m

– EBITDA drops 11.5% to $44.8m

– PATMI (profit after tax and minority interests) declines 15.5% to $22.1m 

Delfi added: “With its product rationalization exercise largely completed and other strategic initiatives expected to be fully implemented by 2018, Delfi is optimistic that it is well-positioned for future growth.” 

Charoen Pokphand sales boosted by overseas growth

Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) has seen its overseas operation contribute to an 8% increase in annual sales for FY 2017, on a like-for-like basis.

Operations in its 16 overseas markets contributed 64% of revenues.

– Sales up 8% to THB501.51bn (US$16.01bn)

– Net profit up 3.78% at THB15.3bn