Mondelēz pulls 2020 forecast, despite Q1 results beating estimates
Revenue rose to $6.71bn in the first quarter ended March 31 from $6.54bn in previous 12 months, beating analysts’ average estimate of $6.61bn, the company reported.
- Net revenues increased 2.6% driven by Organic Net Revenue growth of 6.4% partially offset by unfavorable currency impacts
- Diluted EPS was $0.52, down 17.5% due to unrealized losses in mark-to-market impact from currency and commodities derivatives; Adjusted EPS1 was $0.69, up 10.8% on a constant-currency basis
- Cash provided by operating activities was $284 million; Free Cash Flow was $70 million
- Return of capital to shareholders was $1.1 billion
- Long-term fundamentals and strategy remain intact; full-year 2020 outlook withdrawn due to uncertainty around the impact of COVID-19 on financial and operating results
In a call to analysts immediately after Mondelēz reported its first quarter 2020 results, chairman and CEO Dirk Van de Put said the company saw a spike in demand for biscuits – which represent about 45% of its revenue – due to COVID-19, as consumers “are looking for that moment of comfort offered by biscuits and chocolate in today’s stressful circumstances”.
He added there had been an initial spike in North American weekly sales growth of around 30%, and although it had tapered off in recent weeks, it was growing in the high single digits, above pre-crisis growth levels.
The Cadbury owner reported growth in the mid-teens or greater in Q1 and said approximately 15% increase in sales in North America helped offset weakness in emerging markets.
Mondelēz also ditched its full-year guidance, citing coronavirus uncertainty, but Van de Put expects the company to see growth.
“The challenges we face are unlike anything we've seen before, but we firmly believe we’ll emerge stronger from this,” he said in a call to analysts.
Record market share gains
In a press statement, Van de Put said: "We had a strong first quarter, with record market share gains, and executed very well in challenging circumstances, thanks to the dedication and commitment of our colleagues, especially those on the front line, who are working tirelessly to provide food to consumers around the world."
He said the company's first priority is to protect and support the safety and wellbeing of its employees and it has strict health and safety protocols across facilities as well as providing enhanced benefits for frontline employees.
“We are supporting community partners advancing critical food stability and emergency relief efforts across the world with both cash donations and products. We have donated $20m to date.”
Van de Put also told investors that Mondelēz is intent on emerging from the crisis “even stronger than before. We are accelerating a number of strategic initiatives and continuing to invest in our brands and capabilities to remain the preferred choice of our customers and consumers”.