CHICAGO — Executives of Mondelez International, Inc. expect revenue growth of double-digit percentages to continue throughout the fiscal year. Investors took notice when company results for the first quarter ended March 31 were given April 27.
Net earnings more than doubled to $2.08 billion, equal to $1.52 per share on the common stock, up from $855 million, or 62¢ per share, in the previous year’s first quarter.
Revenues increased 18% to $9.17 billion from $7.76 billion. Organic growth of 19.4% came through 16.2 percentage points from pricing and 3.2 percentage points from volume/mix. Unfavorable currency partially offset the organic revenue growth and incremental sales from the company’s 2022 acquisitions of Clif Bar and Ricolino.
“Our strategic decision to focus our portfolio on the attractive categories of chocolates, biscuits and baked snacks continues to bear fruit with consumers gravitating to those categories,” said Dirk Van de Put, chief executive officer, in an April 27 earnings call.
Executives changed the fiscal-year outlook as they now expect organic revenue to increase over 10%, compared to a previous outlook of 5% to 7%, and adjusted earnings per share on a constant currency basis to increase over 10%, compared to a previous outlook of high-single-digit percentages.
BofA Securities, a business of New York-based Bank of America, raised its EPS estimate for Mondelez in the fiscal year to $3.12 from $3.08.
“Overall, this was an impressive result and, from our perspective, suggests potential for further positive revisions balance of year,” said Bryan D. Spillane, a research analyst for BofA Securities.
The first-quarter results were given after the stock market closed on April 27, when the stock price for Mondelez on the Nasdaq closed at $73.82 per share. The price rose to a 52-week high of $78.59 during the day on April 28 before closing at $76.72, up 3.9% for the day.
North America revenue jumped 27% to $2.71 billion. Organic growth was 17.3% through 15 percentage points from pricing and 2.3 percentage points from volume/mix.
“This region has been a drag for several years, due in part to supply chain inefficiency that pre-dates COVID,” Mr. Spillane said. “If this improvement is sustained, North America could cause growth to remain above long-term targets.”
Developed markets revenue rose 16% with volume/mix up 2.4 percentage points. Emerging markets revenue rose 21% with volume/mix up 4.5 percentage points.
“We continue to invest in our core categories of chocolates, biscuits and baked snacks with strong creative assets, digital personalization at scale, new product launches and great in-store execution,” Mr. Van de Put said. “All this continues to strengthen our already strong brand loyalty. It is clear that we’re playing in the right categories with attractive growth in volume and dollars, combined with solid profitability characteristics. There is also significant headroom in both penetration and per capita consumption in developed and developing markets.”
In the premium chocolate space, Toblerone volume was up over 15% in the quarter, he said.
“Chocolates, biscuits, gum and candy all posted robust double-digit increases in Q1,” said Luca Zaramella, chief financial officer. “Biscuits grew plus 16.9%, with positive volume mix despite substantial price increases. Oreo, Ritz, Chips Ahoy!, Give & Go and Club Social were among brands that delivered double-digit growth.”
Chocolate grew over 18% with significant growth across both developed and emerging markets, he added.“Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka, Lacta and Toblerone all delivered robust growth, and we had a record Easter sell-in that, based on preliminary data, also resulted in record high sell-out,” Mr. Zaramella said. “Gum and candy grew 35% with robust growth across all of our key markets.”