South Africa's Tiger Brands grabbed the headlines this week with news of the over-stating of sales at its Kenyan arm inflating local profits last year. Elsewhere, Ireland's Total Produce lifted its earnings forecast and said it was on the look-out for more M&A. UK meat group Cranswick reported mixed annual results.

Sales up but Kenya affair hits Tiger Brands profits

The South Africa-based FMCG group reported higher half-year revenues but mixed profitability due in part to the "manipulation" of earnings at its Kenyan business.

Group sales were up 7% at ZAR15.9bn. Operating income before abnormal items, which included impairment charges or profits from disposals, fell 5% to ZAR1.6bn.

The company said the issue in Kenya led operating profit from its export and international division to fall 30% to ZAR234m.

Net profit was ZAR1.34bn, versus ZAR602m a year earlier, when impairment charges hit Tiger's bottom line. Headline earnings per share from continuing operations were 853 cents, in line with last year.

Total Produce raises outlook, eyeing M&A

Irish fresh fruit group Total Produce raised its earnings guidance to the "upper half" of its previously announced range and said it is eyeing further M&A.

The company had forecast earnings of 9.20-10.20 euro cents per share. Total Produce said trading in the first four months of the year has been "satisfactory".

The group added it is in a "strong financial position" to pursue further acquisitions. The company's M&A efforts have centred on expanding in North America, where it has completed four acquisitions since 2013.

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Cranswick posts FY profit fall

UK food producer Cranswick has reported a fall in annual profits despite a rise in sales.

Revenue for the period ended 31 March increased to GBP1bn (US$1.5bn) from GBP994.9m a year earlier.

Operating profit fell to GBP53.7m from GBP55.7m. When adjusted to strip out the effects of valuation movement on biological assets and amortisation of intangible assets, operating profit increased to GBP58.7m from last year's adjusted operating profit of GBP53.3m.

Net profit for the year fell to GBP41.3m from GBP43.2m.

Findus Group posts higher Q2 sales, earnings

The European frozen food group booked a 2% rise in sales and 17% increase in EBITDA for the second quarter of its financial year, which ends in September.

The company did not provide specific figures and said the sales and EBITDA numbers were "prepared on a constant currency basis, pre-investor costs".

Chief executive James Hill said: "Findus Group remains on track to deliver modest growth in net sales and EBITDA for the full financial year ending 2015, on a constant-currency basis."

CP Foods expects 2015 sales to rise 10%

Thai food giant Charoen Pokphand Foods has forecast sales will increase "at least" 10% this year, driven by international expansion.

The estimate came as it booked higher profits in the first quarter thanks to asset sales. Revenues fell.

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Decline in sales pushes Tofutti into red

US dessert and dairy-alternative business Tofutti Brands posted a first-quarter loss of US$377,000 as sales slid 19% to $3.1m.

Tofutti said sales of frozen desserts had been hit by the "overall sluggishness" of the ice cream category in the US.

Higher sales allowances meant sales from soy-cheese lines fell. Production and sales issues hit Tofutti's frozen food entrée business.

Chairman and CEO David Mintz said the loss was "in great measure" down to the sales allowance discounts, which he expected to "decline in future periods".

Q1 growth for Egypt's Juhayna Food Industries

The dairy and juice group booked a 51% jump in net income to EGP65m, with EBIT up by two-thirds at EGP130m.

Profitability was boosted by lower raw material costs and higher sales. Revenue grew 7% to EGP867m, with sales from dairy up 14%.

Later in the week, Juhayna announced plans for a local venture with Arla Foods.

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Sales and profits grow at San Miguel Corp.'s food arm

The Philippines food and beverage giant saw sales from San Miguel Pure Foods increase 4% to PHP25.1bn on the back of higher volumes and "better selling prices". Operating income grew 10% to PHP1.47bn. Net income was up 7% at PHP9.11bn.

Nortura hit by "difficult" poultry market

Norwegian meat group Nortura booked higher first-quarter losses as "difficult" conditions in poultry and a 10% decline in sales volumes at the unit offset a "modest" 0.3% increase in meat and grocery sales.

The group revealed a loss after tax and financial items totalled EUR116m (US$128.7m) versus EUR91m in the comparable period of last year. Operating losess totalled EUR84m versus EUR54m.

CEO Arne Kristian Kolberg said the company is implementing a new corporate strategy to "increase growth" and flagged higher market share in grocery.

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Higher production lifts Cherkizovo

Russian meat firm Cherkizovo booked higher first-quarter sales and earnings on the back of investments in production capabilities.

The company said sales rose 30% to RUB17.1bn (US$341.5m). Adjusted for M&A, EBITDA was up 51% to RUB2.98bn and net income gained 138% to RUB2.08bn.

Cherkizovo said it achieved growth in the face of a "very challenging economic situation" in Russia and lower consumer demand. Expansion was supported by higher production levels in poultry and a "strong" market for pork, the group added.

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Pioneer Food Group sees fall in 6M headline earnings

South Africa's Pioneer Food Group reported a fall in headline earnings for the six months ended 31 March 2015.

Headline earnings fell 10% to ZAR627m (US$53m). When adjusted for one-off items this increased 40% to ZAR830m. Sales increased 8% to ZAR9.45bn.

Pioneer said the environment is "likely to be characterised by ongoing muted consumer spending, costly energy disruptions, sustained exchange rate volatility and significant competition".

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Sales, profits up at Astral Foods

South Africa poultry producer Astral Foods reported a jump in profits and sales for the first half of its year.

For the period ended 31 March, Astral said it saw an increase in headline earnings to ZAR387m from ZAR147m, mainly attributable to normalised profit margins achieved by the poultry division and from increased broiler sales volumes.

Operating profit rose 158% to ZAR550m. Sales increased 22.4% to ZAR5.75bn on the back of higher selling prices and improved product mix.

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The Scottish Salmon Company upbeat despite Q1 losses

The UK processor said it had "a strong operational start to 2015" despite pre-tax losses of GBP1.2m in the first quarter, compared to earnings of GBP10.7m last year.

The company said the loss was due to the negative fair value adjustment on biomass of GBP5.9m, compared to a positive adjustment in last year's first quarter of GBP6.6m.

"This is as expected for the current phase in the generation cycle; the volumes harvested in Q1 2015, that were previously the subject of a fair value assessment, have not been offset by the re-stocking of other sites since no fair value adjustment is made for juvenile fish, less than 1kg.

Volumes were up. Revenues dipped from GBP27.7m to GBP27.3m but The Scottish Salmon Co. said it had "continued our focus on building strong customer
partnerships, expanding exports and consolidating our premium position, providing significant revenue protection against volatile spot and currency markets".

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