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Apr 16, 2015

Unilever sees tailwinds boosting sales hopes

LONDON (Reuters) – Unilever reported better than expected first quarter sales and struck a positive tone on the rest of the year, citing brighter signs in major markets such as the United States, China and India.

The Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove soap, Lipton tea and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream saw its shares jump more than 4 percent to a record high on Thursday after its first-quarter report showed progress after a tough 2014. Last year it was hammered by weakening emerging markets and currency devaluations.

Apr 6, 2015

Battered by currency swings, European firms unpick global production model

LONDON, April 6 (Reuters) – A dramatic fall in the euro has
created an opportunity for European manufacturers to enjoy cheap
production costs at the bases from which they can supply world
markets.

But after months of sharp shifts in foreign currencies, many
of these companies are simultaneously reworking strategy in the
hope that by the time of the next sudden tilt they will be
operating in more diverse local markets around the world.

Apr 2, 2015

Tate & Lyle to finalise plan for Splenda this month

LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) – Tate & Lyle Plc is
nearing a decision on how best to maximise returns from its
struggling Splenda sucralose business and will communicate the
result in coming weeks, the company said on Thursday.

Tate’s sucralose problems surfaced in February 2014, when
the company discussed a dramatic drop in prices of the
artificial sweetener it sells to food and drink makers, due to
intense competition from cheaper Chinese rivals.

Apr 1, 2015

Barry Callebaut first-half results surprise on volume gain

LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut (BARN.S: Quote, Profile, Research) reported bigger-than-expected gains in half-year sales and profits as cost cuts helped counter the impact of the surging Swiss franc, and confirmed mid-term targets subject to the currency swings.

The company, which sells chocolate and other cocoa products to candy makers such as Nestle (NESN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research) and Hershey (HSY.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said on Wednesday that sales jumped nearly 12 percent to 3.24 billion Swiss francs (2 billion pounds) in the half year ending Feb. 28.

Mar 26, 2015

Exclusive: AB InBev to nominate JAB partner as chairman – sources

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest brewer, is close to proposing JAB Holding Chief Executive Olivier Goudet as its next chairman, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

The ascent of Goudet, a Frenchman who has been on the AB InBev board since 2011, highlights the close ties between the associates of JAB and 3G Capital, two of the most important private investors in the global consumer goods industry. 3G Capital has four of its founding partners on the brewer’s board.

Mar 26, 2015

AB InBev to nominate JAB partner as chairman – sources

LONDON/NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) – Anheuser-Busch InBev
, the world’s largest brewer, is close to proposing JAB
Holding Chief Executive Olivier Goudet as its next chairman,
according to four sources familiar with the matter.

The ascent of Goudet, a Frenchman who has been on the AB
InBev board since 2011, highlights the close ties between the
associates of JAB and 3G Capital, two of the most important
private investors in the global consumer goods industry. 3G
Capital has four of its founding partners on the brewer’s board.

Mar 23, 2015

Special Report: When it comes to e-cigs, Big Tobacco is concerned for your health

LONDON (Reuters) – The health warning on a MarkTen electronic cigarette package is 116 words long.

That’s much longer than the warnings on traditional cigarette packsĀ in the United States. Nicotine, the e-cigarette warning says, is “addictive and habit-forming, and it is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.” It is not intended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, or people … who take medicine for depression or asthma. “Nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and cause dizziness, nausea and stomach pain,” says MarkTen, a leading brand in the United States. The ingredients can be “poisonous.”

Mar 23, 2015

When it comes to e-cigs, Big Tobacco is concerned for your health

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – The health warning on a MarkTen
electronic cigarette package is 116 words long.

That’s much longer than the warnings on traditional
cigarette packs in the United States. Nicotine, the e-cigarette
warning says, is “addictive and habit-forming, and it is very
toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed.”
It is not intended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding,
or people … who take medicine for depression or asthma.
“Nicotine can increase your heart rate and blood pressure and
cause dizziness, nausea and stomach pain,” says MarkTen, a
leading brand in the United States. The ingredients can be
“poisonous.”

Mar 13, 2015

Weak euro to help European companies, force U.S. rivals to adapt

LONDON (Reuters) – The euro’s slide toward parity with the dollar will provide a much-needed boost for European companies this year and force U.S. rivals to adapt their businesses or risk losing market share.

While currency hedging arrangements mean the benefits may not be seen straight away, the currency’s weakness has already cheered European chief executives by making their products cheaper overseas and lifting the value of dollar-based sales.

Mar 11, 2015

UK votes to ban cigarette pack branding, industry threatens legal action

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Britain’s parliament approved
legislation on Wednesday to ban branding on cigarette packs,
drawing immediate threats of legal action from the country’s $29
billion tobacco industry.

Aimed at improving public health and cutting the number of
child smokers, the measure is likely to crimp tobacco company
profits and emulates Australia, which in 2012 enacted a law
forcing cigarettes to be sold in plain olive green packaging
with images showing the damaging effects of smoking.