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Retail Intelligence

Weekly Round Up, February 25, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Weekly Round Up, February 25, 2014

A delegation of retailers from Spar South Africa was in Ireland last week for a specially organised ‘look and learn’ trip of 11 leading Spar, Spar Express and Eurospar stores across Dublin, Kildare and Westmeath. "We have had several senior international Spar delegations visit Ireland over the last 12 months and I’m very proud to say that’s because we are considered a leading partner in the 35 country network," said Willie O’Byrne, Managing Director, BWG Foods. "Spar Ireland and Spar South Africa have much in common, facing similar challenges and opportunities, and there are many things we can learn from each other." The South African delegation's visit follows that of a group from Spar Shanxi in China last November.

Kerry Group has reported group revenue of €5.8 billion for the year to end 31 December 2013, reflecting underlying sales growth of 4.6%, according to accounts filed this morning. Trading profit at the group increased by 9.4% to €611 million. Commenting on the results, Kerry Group Chief Executive Stan McCarthy said; “The Group achieved good underlying growth ahead of our markets in 2013 and a 10.2% increase in adjusted earnings per share. Our performance reflects continued business margin improvement and strong cash generation. We are well focused on our targeted nutrition, taste and developing market platforms for growth. Based on current exchange rates, the Group expects to achieve 6% to 10% growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2014."

Carlsberg reported fourth quarter earnings of 2.32 billion Danish kroner, a rise from 2.15 billion the previous year. The brewery giant’s operating profit rose 8% as improved margins in Western Europe and Asia growth counteracted sales in Eastern Europe. Carlsberg now plans to strengthen the growth potential of its Asian business and reduce its dependency on Russian markets. The company predicts that Western Europe beer markets will decline marginally this coming year, while Asian markets will continue to grow. Carlsberg remains the world’s fourth-biggest brewer of beers, producing brands including Tuborg and Kronenbourg 1664.

Aldi has reportedly purchased a property at Ennistymon, County Clare, from Clare Marts, despite local opposition to the deal. A number of local people and retailers objected the deal at an Irish Farmers Association meeting in the area last week, but the deal is said to have been signed off at the Clare Marts board meeting. It is possible that Clare Marts will continue to operate the site while Aldi files for ‘change of use’, which could take up to two years. 

The Coca-Cola Company saw its fourth quarter profits decrease by 8.4% leading the global drinks giant to announce new cost-cutting measures. Coca-Cola reported a net income drop of $1.71 billion in the three months to the end of December 2013, compared to the $1.87 billion net income the year before. Coca-Cola now will overhaul marketing programs and reduce data-management costs to generate savings of $1 billion by 2016. Meanwhile, the company’s global sales volume increased 2% for the year, and 1% for the quarter, which is less that the 4% annual and 3% quarterly growth from the year before. 

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Simon Coveney T.D. met with a delegation from Meat Industry Ireland (MII) last Friday to discuss the cattle and beef trade. A spokesperson for MII said the meeting covered a wide range of issues and the industry will continue dialogue with the department in relation to market requirements and beef sector development. One of the topics discussed was the steady increase in the weekly processing of young bulls. The spokesperson said, “Weekly throughput of young bulls has increased from 4,000 head/week to 6,500 head/week without compromising orderly marketing. Processors are committed to maintain these throughput levels over the coming weeks. They also resolved to assist in addressing difficulties any individual producers are experiencing.” The MII also reaffirmed its commitment to continue to address short-term supply issues in the finished cattle trade. 

Wisconsin-based Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Company will buy Unilever’s meat snack business, primarily sold under the BiFi brand (Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland) and the Peperami brand (UK and Ireland). The acquisition includes the manufacturing facility in Ansbach, Germany, although full details of the deal have not been disclosed. Troy Link, CEO of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, said, “This acquisition is a significant step in delivering on that mission. BiFi and Peperami brands continue to drive growth in meat snacks in their respective territories. We are excited to welcome these brands to the family and look forward to working with all of our team members and retail partners to continue that success.” Jan Zijderveld, Unilever Europe President, said: “BiFi and Peperami are two iconic local brands. As we continue to sharpen our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, we believe that the potential of these two brands can now be more fully realised with Jack Link’s.” 

The Retail Ireland MasterCard Annual Conference 2014 will be held at the Gibson Hotel, Dublin on Tuesday, May 6. Delegates from major national and international retailers will come together to network and discuss the future of retail. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Recovery and Renewal’. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD will open the event with an address on the progress made and the ongoing push to return Ireland and the retail industry to growth, success and prosperity. Other speakers include the Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, entrepreneur Norah Casey, Shane Daly, Head of Retailer Services at Nielsen Ireland, Garry Lyons, MasterCard Worldwide’s Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Labs, Danny McCoy, CEO of Ibec, Paul Neeson, director of retail at the DAA and Fergal O’Brien, Ibec’s chief economist. 

Over 800 local businesses in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin have called on the Government and An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to help boost business in the town. Dun Laoghaire has struggled amidst rising rates, high car parking costs and a number of closures in the area. The shopping centre in particular has a number of vacant lots. Local businesses are negotiating discounts on service charges such as electricity and waste collection to counteract the effects of the retail slowdown. 

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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