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Weekly Round-Up ... 1 August 2023

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Round-Up ... 1 August 2023

Italy's government is trying to broker a deal with supermarkets and producers to control prices of essential consumer goods in a measure that would be implemented in the final three months of the year, a government document showed on Friday. Industry Minister Adolfo Urso is negotiating an accord with market players to "offer a range of everyday food and non-food products at capped prices" from October to December, a draft Memorandum of Understanding seen by Reuters said. Under the government-backed scheme, supermarket chains should define a basket of food and non-food essential staples to which lowered prices apply, excluding alcohol. Basic necessities would include childcare and personal care products, the document said. Distributors of such products should inform the government by 15 September about their intention to join the initiative, it said.

Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina has reported a 85.7% year-on-year drop in operating profit, to €47 million, in the first half of its financial year. FrieslandCampina has attributed the drop in profits to the performance of its Food & Beverage and Trading units, reports Net profit for the period decreased by 94.2% year-on-year, to €8 million, driven by interest rate increases, unfavourable currency translation effects, loss in purchasing power, and a shift in consumer spending. In the first six months, FrieslandCampina’s revenue increased by 4.6%, to €6.9 billion, driven by previously implemented price increases. Commodity dairy prices dropped faster than the milk price paid by FrieslandCampina to its member dairy farmers, based on its milk price system in this period, the company said.

French supermarket retailer Casino, which last week agreed on a long-awaited debt restructuring deal with creditors, said on Monday it got a waiver from creditors regarding its financial covenants for the end of June. "The Group clarifies that it has obtained a waiver from the lenders under the revolving credit facility (RCF) to declare any early repayment based on events of default resulting directly from non-compliance with the financial covenants at 30 June 2023," it said in a statement. Casino struck the debt restructuring deal with creditors, led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky last Friday, in order to avert bankruptcy. The agreement will result, in principle, in €1.2 billion  of new money getting injected into Casino and its debt of €6.4 billion will be restructured.

Read More: Weekly Round-Up ... 25 July 2023


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