Mondelēz International, Inc. reported a better-than-expected first quarter on April 27. The Chicago-based company earned $961 million in the first quarter, an increase over 2020’s first quarter earnings of $736 million. Net revenues got a 7.9% boost and gross profit increased $515 million.
Among other factors, the upswing was attributed to ongoing demand in the company’s existing markets as consumers continue to embrace indulgent and permissible indulgent foods and beverages. Growth in emerging markets also helped Mondelēz exceed expectations.
Within its product portfolio, savory snacks and cookies performed well, with share gains across categories. The company’s candy brands held their own in confectionery but face growing competition from medicated confectionery and mints. Reflecting general trends in the gum segment, the company’s gum brands posted declines as consumers’ mobility and social interactions remain limited compared to 2019 and early 2020, according to an analysis from Euromonitor International.
"Our first quarter results demonstrate that we are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger, as we continue to build upon our track record of robust growth, profitability and cash generation," said Dirk Van de Put, chairman and CEO of Mondelēz. " We remain squarely focused on accelerating growth by further strengthening our core brand and expanding our presence in high-growth channels, categories and adjacencies.”
According to research analyst Aga Jarzabek of Euromonitor International, the CPG company’s performance reflects the lingering effects of the global COVID-19 situation. "The impact of the pandemic on Mondelez sales has been disparate across categories, although overall the impact has been positive since consumers are snacking more. Factors such as home seclusion and a loss of impulse purchases due to COVID-19 have affected on-the-go categories such as gum and sugar confectionery, but they have enabled the growth of other categories such as sweet biscuits and chocolate confectionery. Within the context of upheaval and uncertainty in 2020, consumers found stability in mainstream brands they know and trust,” Jarzabek remarked.
Mondelēz had revenues of approximately $27 million in 2020. The company owns iconic global and local brands such as OREO, belVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate; Sour Patch Kids candy and Trident gum. Also this month, the company announced it is teaming up with cocoa supplier Olam Food Ingredients in a new collaboration to build the world's largest sustainable cocoa farm in Indonesia.