Sara Lee Coffee & Tea business reports net sales up 11% in second quarter

Sara Lee Corp. released its second quarter earnings report on 2 February for fiscal 2012, showing its reported net sales up 11 per cent in its Coffee & Tea business.  Adjusted operating segment income jumped 9.1 per cent for Coffee & Tea over the first half of fiscal 2011, to US$265 million. Adjusted Net sales reached $1.9 billion, an almost 13 per cent increase over the same period a year prior. A company press release accredited pricing and a strong mix for the positive performance, however notes this was partially offset by volume declines which can be attributed largely to the company's shutdown of their Thai business during massive flooding and deliberate withdrawal from private label business in France. The company noted that pricing now fully covers raw material increases for the first time since the beginning of the spike in prices.  “We continue to see solid progress in our businesses as we head into the second half of our fiscal year,” Executive Chairman Jan Bennink said in a press release. “We remain on track to complete the spin-off during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. We have closed all announced business divestitures and have supplemented our core businesses with acquisitions that will strengthen our long-term growth profile. Each business now has the CEO and CFO in place and they are assessing further changes to strengthen the organization. Finally, as we announced last week, we now have full control over the Senseo trademark and look forward to a continued partnership with Philips to leverage Senseo’s strong brand equity into new products and geographic market expansion.” The press release noted that the business is performing particularly well in key Western European countries, including the Netherlands, France and Spain. Market shares showed compelling trends in all three countries, with France and Spain reaching record levels. The statement said that the Netherlands is showing significant progress as it has started to reverse the downward trend of the past few years. The press release noted that the growth of capsules has contributed to success in these three countries, combined with strengthened category management and stronger focus on the base business.  Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased six cents to $0.27, however reported EPS decreased nine cents to  $0.05 due to negative impact from currency.   

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