Mondelez Sales Top Estimates on Elevated At-Home Snacking

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Mondelez International Inc. reported fourth-quarter sales that surpassed analysts’ expectations as consumers continue to chow down on sweet and salty snacks amid coronavirus lockdowns.

The maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury Dairy Milk reported organic sales, which strips out some elements like currency volatility, rose 3.2%, above the average analyst estimate of 3.1% compiled by Bloomberg. Earnings of 67 cents a share, excluding some items, also beat Wall Street’s projections.

Strong demand for cookies and chocolate at home is providing an enduring boost to sales in Europe and North America. Mondelez faces challenges, however, in Latin America, a market that relies heavily on physical stores to sell snacks. Sales in the region dropped 15%, an improvement from the 17% decline in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, gum and candy -- a category that’s less likely to be purchased or consumed at home -- saw weakness across the board.

“Our categories were resilient, with the exception of gum,” Mondelez Chief Executive Officer Dirk Van de Put said in a statement. He added the company enters 2021 “in a strong position financially.”

The shares rose less than 1% on Thursday in late trading. The stock rose just over 6% in 2020, trailing the S&P 500 Index’s gain.

The company has expanded its brand portfolio during the pandemic to take advantage of the recent trends. Incremental sales from the company’s recent acquisitions drove the revenue growth, the company said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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