Oreo maker Mondelez’s earnings jump on higher volumes, prices

Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate maker Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O) reported better-than-expected revenue and profit, as a mix of higher volumes and prices in certain markets, helped offset the impact of a strong dollar.The company, whose shares were up 4 percent in premarket trading, reaffirmed its 2016 forecast.Volumes rose in some of its biggest markets such as North America and Asia Pacific, where it also raised prices. In Europe, its biggest market by revenue, volumes also rose but the company cut prices there.Total revenue, however, declined for the tenth straight quarter, hit by the strong dollar and as consumers increasingly avoid high-calorie or sugary food in favor of healthier food.To counter the falling sales and to spruce up profit, the company has been cutting costs and selling its coffee businesses and making its snacks and candies healthier.

Profit attributable to Mondelez rose 71 percent to $554 million, or 35 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31.Rival Hershey Co (HSY.N) posted disappointing sales for the third quarter in a row on Tuesday, as demand for its chocolates in North America continued to fall.

Mondelez’s chief commercial officer, Mark Clouse, will leave the company to take over as chief executive of Pinnacle Foods Inc (PF.N). Mondelez said it was not planning to get a replacement for Clouse.Excluding items, the company earned 48 cents per share and said its net revenue fell 16.8 percent to $6.46 billion.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 39 cents per share and revenue of $6.42 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.The company also reaffirmed its 2016 forecast, but said it now expects strong dollar to reduce net revenue growth by about 3 percentage points from its previous estimate of about 6. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Shounak Dasgupta)


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