Kraft Heinz has seen its net sales decline by 0.3% in the first quarter of the year to $6.3 billion as the company’s US unit struggled.
In the three months to 31 March, net sales in the US, the company’s largest market, were down 3.3% to $4.37 billion, partly due to lower shipments of nuts, cold cuts and frozen potatoes.
However, Kraft Heinz, which owns brands such as Philadelphia, Jell-O and Maxwell House, recorded a 3.4% rise in operating income to $1.48 billion.
Positive figures were posted in Canada, with sales up 9.8% to $484 million thanks to increased coffee and cheese sales. In Europe, Middle East and Africa revenue surged by 14.7% partly thanks to a strong performance of the company’s soup brands in the UK.
Net sales declined by 0.2% in its rest of the world business with lower shipments in Indonesia and Brazil partly offset by growth in Australia.
Kraft Heinz CEO Bernardo Hees said: “Our first-quarter results were consistent with, if not slightly better than, the expectations we expressed in February.
“The initial successes we’re seeing in the marketplace, together with the strong investments we’re making in marketing, new product innovation, and capability building, give us increased confidence in delivering the top- and bottom-line growth we expect in 2018.”
So far this year Kraft Heinz has been given the green light to acquire the food and instant coffee business of Suntory-owned Cerebos Gregg’s in a deal worth AUD 290 million ($228.2 million). Cerebos owns the Saxa salt, Gregg’s and Bisto brands.
In March it launched an incubation programme to aid the development of innovative food and beverage start-ups called Springboard. The company said it wants to help develop brands which have genuinely innovative ideas which will help shape the future of the food and beverage industry.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019