Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Stronger dollar = weaker results

May 5, 2009

Check out the latest earnings reports, which give a hint of hope that things could be looking up, if it weren’t for that pesky stronger U.S. dollar.
Avon‘s revenue fell 13 percent to $2.18 billion as the stronger U.S. dollar decreased the value of overseas sales by 16 percentage points. On a local currency basis, sales rose 3 percent. 
WITHERSPOON/“Foreign exchange significantly pressured first-quarter profit, as expected,” Avon Chief Executive Andrea Jung said in a statement. “We are taking aggressive action to lessen the foreign-exchange impact … the benefits of which should be stronger in the second half of 2009.”
Kraft Foods posted a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit helped by price increases and cost-cutting.  While profit rose, the maker of Oreo cookies said sales fell 6.5 percent to $9.4 billion, hurt in part by — you guessed it — the stronger dollar, which lessens the dollar-value of sales made overseas. Organic revenue, or sales excluding currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures, rose 2.3 percent. 
Over at MillerCoors, the combined U.S. operations of SABMiller Plc and Molson Coors Brewing Co, net sales rose 3.8 percent to $1.72 billion. Sales from wholesalers to retailers, a good gauge of consumer demand, rose 0.4 percent.  Molson Coors said its overall profit rose, as increased prices and cost cuts helped offset steeper commodity costs, lower sales volume and, of course — the stronger U.S. dollar. 

One company that couldn’t put any blame on forex is CVS Caremark, which operates solely in the United States.  Even if people are cutting back, net revenue still jumped 9.7 percent, to $23.4 billion. CVS profit was better than expected. 

Also in the basket:

ADM misses Wall Street forecast as profit slips

Spectrum posts higher second quarter operating profit

LeapFrog’s Q1 flops

Designers and execs see positive points (WWD, subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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