Munich (Reuters) – A decade ago, waitresses at Oktoberfest were the only ones in dirndls, the Bavarian peasant-inspired, corseted dresses featuring white blouses and colored aprons, and trendy Berliners wouldn’t dream of dancing to oompah music in public.
Now, Munich’s annual beer festival is a sea of traditionally-clad tourists, with revelers from as far away as Canada, Mexico and Iran donning dirndls or the equivalent outfits for men – lederhosen and checked shirts.
LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Nestle hinted on Tuesday
it was getting closer to disposing of bad brands and shaking up
its portfolio to deal with businesses that have underperformed
for too long.
The company’s chief executive Paul Bulcke told investors
Nestle had drawn up lists of businesses that could be fixed and
those that could not.
LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nestle SA (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest food company, is looking to divest its PowerBar energy bars, a pioneer of sports nutrition products, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The sale of PowerBar could fetch several hundred million dollars, the people said this week. They asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
LONDON, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Dutch food and chemicals group
DSM has cut its 2013 earnings forecast, blaming
currency moves, the renewal of a Dutch “crisis tax” and weaker
demand for fish oil supplements.
Shares in the group, whose products are used to make a range
of goods from food to artificial joints to nylon, fell about 6
percent in early Thursday trading.
LONDON (Reuters) – Rakesh Kapoor, head of British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.L: Quote, Profile, Research), used to frown on people using his company’s most famous brands illegally to boost their own sales.
Now, as he holds aloft his iPhone in a bootleg cover emblazoned with RB’s Durex condom packaging, he says he embraces the practice – evidence of an executive who is open to change and willing to speak frankly about it.
LONDON (Reuters) – Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will be a major player in a coming shakeout of the global consumer health industry and has the capability to do sizeable deals, according to its chief executive.
Speaking at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Wednesday, CEO Rakesh Kapoor predicted that the industry, which covers vitamins to over-the-counter medicines to condoms, will see a wave of deals.
LONDON, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Unilever will
keep investing in emerging markets like India even though growth
is slowing, Chief Financial Officer Jean-Marc Huet said,
pointing to the group’s increased stake in Hindustan Unilever as
a long-term bet.
“Yes there is a slowdown in emerging markets, but if you’re
in the consumer business, you should be where people are, and
this is where aspiring consumers are,” Huet said at the Reuters
Global Consumer and Retail Summit on Tuesday.
By Martinne Geller
(Reuters) – The public battle between J.C. Penney Co (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and leading shareholder Bill Ackman escalated Friday with the hedge fund manager demanding the ouster of the retailer’s chairman as well as the interim CEO, while Starbucks (SBUX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) CEO Howard Schultz joined the fray urging the billionaire’s removal from the board.
Ackman sent an open letter to the Penney board — his second letter in as many days — publicly criticizing the board and seeking the ouster of Chairman Thomas Engibous. A day earlier he had demanded the replacement of interim chief executive Myron Ullman.
(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc’s (JCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) largest shareholder, Bill Ackman, on Friday urged the company’s board to replace its chairman, Thomas Engibous, sharpening a public dispute with fellow directors and drawing a sharp rebuke from the company.
The news came a day after Ackman pushed to more quickly replace Chief Executive Myron Ullman, who was brought back in April to stem sales declines blamed on Ron Johnson, Ackman’s pick to turn around the struggling century-old department store chain.
(Reuters) – Hillshire Brands Co (HSH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) forecast earnings for its new fiscal year below Wall Street estimates as the newly independent meat company faces higher commodity costs and intense competition.
Hillshire uses a range of meats, including pork, turkey and beef to make its Hillshire Farm lunch meat, Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs. It faces higher prices for sows.