Oreo maker Mondelez lifts sales outlook on emerging markets boost

(Reuters) -Mondelez International Inc raised its annual sales forecast on Tuesday, as price increases and strong demand from emerging markets helped the Oreo cookie maker beat estimates in the third quarter.

Demand for its biscuits and snacks has bounced back across China, India, Latin America and other emerging markets after tepid sales last year, when the economic toll of the pandemic dealt a sharp blow to consumer spending in those regions.

Shares of the Chicago, Illinois-based company rose 2.3% in after market trade, as net revenue from its emerging markets segment grew 12.9% to $2.58 billion in the third quarter, following a 3.1% fall last year.

The chocolatier is now doubling down on those markets by increasing production lines to ramp up capacity rather than open new facilities, in an effort to save costs.

Like other packaged foods makers such as Campbell Soup Co and Conagra Brands Inc, Mondelez has been raising product prices in recent months to contend with higher costs of ingredients such as sugar and wheat, as well as packaging, transportation and labor.

“Costs have moved higher in the second half of the year relative to the first half, and we expect inflation to persist in 2022,” said Chief Executive Officer Dirk Van de Put in a post-earnings call.

Mondelez now expects full-year organic net revenue growth of about 4.5%, compared with its prior forecast of an over 4% increase. Analysts on average were expecting 4.25%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net revenue for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 7.8% to $7.18 billion, surpassing estimates of $7.03 billion.

Excluding items, the Cadbury chocolate maker earned 70 cents per share on a constant currency basis, compared with expectations of 70 cents.

(Reporting by Mehr Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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