Earnings results continued to pour in last week with retailers Carrefour, Delhaize and Waitrose amongst those issuing sales and profit figures. Delhaize told analysts there was work still to be done in the US, while Carrefour insisted it has to invest in order to build on signs of improvement. Elsewhere, Vion was bought by Boparan Holdings, and a BBC investigation uncovered evidence of horse smuggling from Ireland to the UK.
“While we are pleased with the continued progress of Food Lion, we know that we must continue to grow sales and market share and we also must better differentiate food Lion from its competition” – Roland Smith, CEO of Delhaize US says its top priority is the “transformation” of Food Lion.
“The fact we have had limited capex over the last two years was sensible given the state of the balance sheet but we have to boost our capex now on remodelling or we’ll pay very dearly for it four or five years down the line” – Carrefour CEO Georges Plassat says Carrefour plans to increase its capital expenditure this year after a period of “limited” spending.
“If you think back to a year ago, there was a serious risk of a eurozone crisis hanging over the market and there were a number of other economic issues as well” – Charlie Mayfield, chairman of Waitrose parent The John Lewis Partnership says a down economy has come to represent the new normal for many consumers.
“This acquisition will safeguard a key supply chain for high quality British poultry and meat, offering reassurance to farmers in England, Scotland and Wales and upholding the quality and provenance that UK customers and consumers deserve” – 2 Sisters chief executive Ranjit Singh on the announcement it has acquired the remaining Vion meat businesses in the UK.
“[This] will assuage an increasingly sceptical public as to the integrity of the food chain and so demand patterns could return to what may be considered a more normal profile sometime soon” – Shore Capital analyst Clive Black suggests rigorous testing measures put in place across the supply chain amid the horsemeat saga, may restore consumer confidence in the ready meals market.
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“The online grocery market is relatively underdeveloped in China and Thailand compared with Europe and many retailers are just testing the concept at the moment” – Vicky Ray, head of Asia at the IGD, says there is significant online growth opportunity in Thailand.
“There is little new or revolutionary here and Carrefour will remain a multi-format company. They are going to have to continue to work at price perception, given that they are number two but perceived as a number three in terms of price leadership” – Justin Scarborough, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst comments on Carrefour’s full-year numbers.
“We are excited about the growth prospects for this company as we continue to transform Smithfield into a more value-added consumer packaged meats company” – Smithfield Foods CEO Larry Pope says the transformation of the business is paying off.
“The practice is said to have been going on for years. It is not known where the horsemeat ended up” – a BBC investigation uncovers evidence of a criminal conspiracy to move horses, not fit for human consumption, to the UK from Ireland and into the food chain.
“We are in the process of reviewing the contents of the show-cause notice from the Excise Department and will respond to it in consultation with our legal adviser” – a spokesperson for Mondelez responds to accusations it has been avoiding excise taxes totalling more than INR2bn (US$36.5m) in India.