Cereal maker Kellogg's has reported a 3.6% increase in reported net sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, posting $3.21 billion sales for the period.
However full year sales for the cereal giant were down 0.7% to $12.9 billion.
The group said that its fourth quarter performance was driven by ' significantly lower restructuring charges and favorable mark-to-market impacts year-on-year, as well as as a result of productivity savings relating to its Project K restructuring programme.
It said that these savings 'more than offset' a 'substantial' increase in advertising and promotion investment during the period.
The fourth quarter performance was also boosted by the acquisitions of RXBAR, which it acquired in October 2017 and Parati, which it bought in December 2016, as well as favourable currency translation. On a currency-neutral comparable basis, net sales declined by 1.5%.
Commenting on its purchase of RXBAR last October, Kellogg CEO Steve Cahillane described the business as "an excellent strategic fit for Kellogg as we pivot to growth.”
Kellogg's said that its Europe business reported growth in net sales (both on a reported and currency-neutral basis), with its Pringles brand 'sustaining its second-half return to growth' and the cereals business posing quarterly growth due to favourable consumption trends.
Operating profit 'increased sharply' in its European operations, the company noted, owing to lower restructuring costs and favourable currency translation.
"We’re pleased to report a good finish to an important year,” said Steve Cahillane, Kellogg Company’s chief executive officer. “We delivered on our financial guidance for the year, by continuing to improve our sales performance from a soft first half, and by executing productivity initiatives that continued to boost our profit margins, even as we stepped up investment in our brands.
"We also continued to make significant progress on several strategic imperatives that will contribute to better performance ahead."
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.