USA – Mondelez International’s full year net revenue increased 0.2% to US$3.31 billion helped by emerging markets which grew at 6.5% in the fourth quarter and around 6% for the full year.
Results reflected the impacts of unfavorable currency and divestment including its Kraft-branded cheese business in Middle East and Africa (MEA), which the company said incurred divestiture-related costs of US$3 million in the third quarter.
The company agreed to sell the Kraft-branded cheese business to Arla Foods, with the transaction expected to close in 2019.
Gross profit for the 12-months period grew 3% while diluted EPS was $2.28, up 23% driven primarily by an after-tax gain on the Keurig Dr Pepper transaction.
Fourth quarter revenue declined 8%, partly driven by the impact of currency and disappointing performance in Latin America where revenue declined 15.2%.
North American sales increased 1.6%, attributed to efforts by the company to achieve profitable business growth in the face of changing consumer and market trends.
“Our fourth quarter and full-year 2018 results demonstrate the power of our brands, the strength of our global footprint and the potential of our strategic plan,” said Dirk Van de Put, Chairman and CEO.
“We delivered on our key financial and strategic commitments for the year, including solid top-line and bottom-line growth and strong cash flow generation.
In 2019, we will continue to progress against our new strategy, which includes new investments to drive organic revenue growth and operational excellence across the organization.”
Operating income decreased US$150 million and margin decreased 60 basis points to 12.8%, driven primarily by the impact from pension participation changes in North America.
The company said, these were offset by favourable change in mark-to-market gains from currency and commodity hedging activities, lower restructuring program costs and the lapping of prior-year malware-related expenses.
During the year, Mondelez expanded its research and development capabilities with a new facility in India and a US$5 million expansion of its technical site in Poland.
In April 2018, the company completed the sale of several manufacturing facilities in France and the sale or license of several local confectionery brands.
In the current year, Mondelez said it expects organic net revenue growth to be between 2 and 3%, while Adjusted EPS growth of 3-5% on a constant-currency basis.