News briefs: Nestle, Danone and Kerry Foods

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chief executive officer, Nestlé

This week, Nestle lifts its 2008 profit expectations on an expected
fall in commodities costs, Danone denies it has an interest in
purchasing Dean Foods, and Kerry Foods makes an Irish dairy
acquisition.

Nestle lifts profit forecast ​Nestle says its expects to post strong full year profits in 2008, inline with those of 2007, despite the current high price of raw materials. In a trading statement, the company said that commodity markets have continued to be increasingly volatile, amidst high demand for both food processing and bio fuels. However, group chairman and chief executive officer Peter Brabeck said that the company expected a slight fall in its own material charges in 2008, ensuring it would finish the year ahead of the predicted five to six per cent earnings growth plan. He added that the outlook reflected the strong start made to the year by the company on the back of restructuring towards being a health and nutrition company. "We expect our raw material cost pressures to abate somewhat in the course of the year, and foresee price increases to trend lower in the second half of 2008, resulting in a full year organic growth rate close to the level reached in 2007, clearly above our long-term target,"​ Brabeck stated. Danone denies US expansion reports ​Group Danone has this week denied further speculations regarding the expansion of global operations, according to press reports. The France-based diary group has been linked in recent months to talks with dairy group Keventer in India, as well as players in China, though a company spokesperson said that they denied the rumours, according to the Dow Jones Newswire service. Dean Foods is a major player within North American dairy production, which also boosts an organic dairy goods arm, though has experienced some cost difficulties in recent months. In February, the company said that operating profit over the twelve-month period ending 31 December 2007 fell 18 per cent to $553m. Kerry Foods moves for Breeo ​Ingredients group Kerry Foods has announced that it is to acquire Ireland-based Breeo Foods for €165m from Reox holdings. The group said yesterday that the move would allow it to extend its presence in the area of value-added dairy goods through brands like Dairygold, Galtee, Shaws, Roscrea, Mitchelstown, Calvita and Sno. In addition, Kerry says that the purchase also includes Breeo's chilled foods distribution service.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Nestlé, Danone

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