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November 6, 2020

Universal Robina brushes off Griffin’s Foods sale talk

Universal Robina Corp. has issued a statement in response to media reports on the future for its New Zealand-based snacks business Griffin's Foods.

By Dean Best

Philippines-based food and beverage group Universal Robina Corp. (URC) has rebuffed reports the company says suggested it could be set to sell New Zealand snacks business Griffin’s Foods.

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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
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URC acquired Griffin’s from Pacific Equity Partners in 2014 for NZD700m (then US$592.2m). There has been talk this week about the future of the biscuits and salty-snacks maker, with The Australian newspaper reporting Griffin’s could be of interest to private-equity firms.

In a statement provided to just-food, URC said: “Several media outlets have … speculated that Griffin’s Foods is about to be sold by owners Universal Robina. This company categorically states that there is no process in place for Universal Robina to divest the business. Despite the Covid-19 challenges many businesses are facing globally, Universal Robina remains well-positioned to continue its performance in [the[ market.”

In 2019, URC generated net sales of PHP134.2bn (US$2.78bn), up 5% on a year earlier. Sales from the group’s branded consumer foods division, in which Griffin’s sits, rose 8% to PHP105.9bn.

The most-recent figures URC has released cover the nine months up to the end of September this year show the company’s sales were up 2% at PHP99.8bn on a constant-currency basis and “at par” on a reported basis.

URC said Covid-19 had “deteriorated trading conditions, and resulted in market contractions, in several snack food and beverage categories the company competes in”. The group, however, stated it had “gained significant market shares and performed ahead of the market”.

Nine-month sales from URC’s branded consumer foods business reached PHP77.4bn, down slightly from the PHP78bn booked for the opening nine months of 2019. URC reported the division’s international revenues of PHP30bn were “flattish on a constant-currency basis and declined 7% in peso terms”. The company said “growth in Oceania [was] offset by the negative impacts of Covid-19 in several ASEAN markets”.

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Free Report
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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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