Mondelez International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) Q4 2022 Earnings Call Transcript January 31, 2023
Operator: Good day, and welcome to the Mondelez International Fourth Quarter 2022 and Full-Year Earnings Conference Call. Today’s call is scheduled to last about one hour, including remarks by Mondelez management and the question-and-answer session. I’d now like to turn the call over to Mr. Shep Dunlap, Vice President, Investor Relations for Mondelez. Sir, please go ahead.
Shep Dunlap: Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us. With me today are Dirk Van de Put, our Chairman and CEO; and Luca Zaramella, our CFO. Earlier today, we sent out our press release and presentation slides, which are available on our website. During this call, we’ll make forward-looking statements about the Company’s performance. These statements are based on how we see things today. Actual results may differ materially due to risks and uncertainties. Please refer to the cautionary statements and risk factors contained in our 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K filings for more details on our forward-looking statements. As we discuss our results today, unless noted as reported, we’ll be referencing our non-GAAP financial measures, which adjust for certain items included in our GAAP results.
In addition, we provide our year-over-year growth on a constant currency basis unless otherwise noted. You can find the comparable GAAP measures and GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliations within our earnings release and at the back of the slide presentation. Today, Dirk will provide a business and strategy update, followed by review of our financial results and outlook by Luca. We will close with Q&A. I’ll now turn the call over to Dirk.
Dirk Van de Put: Thanks, Shep, and thanks to everyone for joining the call today. I will start on Slide 4. I am pleased to share that we delivered another record year, not only in size of the company, but also in profit dollar growth. Our strong topline performance was driven by excellent pricing execution and continued volume strength as consumers all over the world remain loyal to our iconic snacking brands. We delivered strong topline performance in both emerging and developed markets while continuing to exercise cost discipline. In keeping with our strategy of achieving global snacking leadership, we continue investing in our brands and capabilities while strengthening our portfolio with important bolt-on acquisitions that increase our exposure to attractive and growing categories and profit pools.
We executed well against our long-term algorithm, returning $4 billion in capital to shareholders. Perhaps most importantly, we continue to invest in our people, building a deep and diverse team whose local routes and global insights enable us to stay a step ahead of rapidly changing customer and consumer tastes. We are confident that the strength of our brands, our proven strategy, our continued investments, and especially our great people position us well to achieve our long-term financial targets in 2023 and beyond. Along with our financial performance, I’m pleased to share that we made significant progress towards our environmental, social and governance agenda. You recall from our investor update last spring that we have elevated sustainability as the fourth pillar of our growth acceleration strategy.
That’s because we firmly believe that helping to drive positive change at scale is an integral part of our value creation with positive returns for all our stakeholders. Let me share a few highlights on Slide 5. First, we continued to advance our leadership in more sustainably sourcing cocoa and wheat, our two most critical ingredients. We launched the next chapter of Cocoa Life, our signature cocoa sourcing program with another $600 million commitment, bringing our total investment to $1 billion. Cocoa Life is working to lift up the people and restore landscapes where cocoa grows. Similarly, we will launch in the first quarter of 2023, an updated vision for our Harmony Wheat program focused on more sustainably sourcing wheat across the European Union.
We continued advancing our Light and Right packaging strategy. For example, our Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand now are wrapped in packaging with more than 30% recycled content. We also continue to make progress on tackling climate change. We expanded our use of renewable energy to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse emissions, and in about 80% of farms in our Cocoa Life program in West Africa, we achieved near to no deforestation, reducing Scope 3 emissions. Since 2018, we have reduced our CO2 emissions by more than 20%. We also remain focused on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion because we firmly believe that diverse perspectives and viewpoints make our company stronger while helping us stay closer to our customers and consumers.
As an example, we increase the gender and racial diversity of our Board of Directors with the appointment of industry leading experts. We are proud of team Mondelez continued success in making important impacts on these critical environmental, social and issues, while creating value for our shareholders and other key stakeholders. Turning to Slide 6, you can see that we had a record year despite challenging operating conditions. We view our strong performance in 2022 as evidence that our long-term strategy continues to deliver for our stakeholders. Organic volume grew 2.7% for the year on pace with recent years, demonstrating the continued strength of our resilient brands and categories even in an inflationary environment. Organic net revenue grew by 12.3%, significantly lapping the prior three years performance with broad-based growth across all regions.
We also delivered record adjusted gross profit dollar growth of $1.4 billion. We are proud of our team’s ability to offset major cost pressures to enable us to continue investing in the business, which will drive further growth acceleration. Accordingly, we increased A&C investment by double-digit, helping to keep our brand top of mind for both consumers and customers. These pricing cost management an investing activities translated into strong operating income growth of more than $580 million. We remain confident that our virtuous cycle of strong gross profit dollar growth, which fuels local first commercial investment and execution, will continue to consistently deliver attractive profit growth. We are especially confident that our unique growth strategy centered on acceleration and focus will enable us to continue to successfully navigate the dynamic global operating environment, differentiating us from many other food companies.
On Slide 7, you can see that despite the volatile environment, we have the right setup and strategy to ensure we deliver against our growth algorithm. Momentum in emerging markets, with particularly China and India showing strong results combined with the resilience of our categories as evidenced by strong volume growth is helping us to offset the challenges that many companies are facing, such as global cost inflation, the energy crisis, recession concerns in Europe and supply chain volatility. Our consumer continues to hold up well across most geographies, prioritizing snacking and buying more volumes of our products despite significant price increases. Our U.S. supply chain is gradually getting back to normal after a long period of sub-optimal customer service triggered by the 2021 strike and the subsequent overall supply chain volatility.
We are continuing to implement appropriate incremental price increases across key markets, including Europe. We also continue to take appropriate action to hedge our commodity costs while continuing to advance our ongoing productivity initiatives. All of the above allows us to increase our investment in brands and capabilities every year, which underpin our growth momentum. Our ability to deliver real dollar growth enables us to make sound and choiceful decisions that drive the business forward and position us well for continued future growth. Slide 8 shows that our performance in 2022 gives us confidence that we have not only the right growth plan, but also the right execution to deliver it. Our core categories of chocolate and biscuits remain attractive and durable in both developed and emerging markets.
We are accelerating our focus on these core categories because they have attractive growth and profitability characteristics and still a significant headroom in terms of penetration and per capita consumption. Our long-term vision is to generate 90% of revenue through these two core categories. We hit an exciting milestone in the biscuit category this year as Oreo surpassed $4 billion in global net revenue, further solidifying its position as the world’s favorite cookie. Our acquisitions of Chipita and Clif Bar helped us expand our footprint in the growing Baked Snacks segment. While our acquisition of Ricolino helped us fill an important geographic white space, establishing a strong foothold in a priority emerging market of Mexico. We also continue to expand our presence in high growth channels, segments and price tiers.
Photo by Vinícius Müller on Unsplash
For example, silk premium chocolate doubled its prior year penetration in India, while in emerging markets, we added more than 400,000 additional outlets, and we have significant runway ahead of us. These are just a few examples of the ways our teams remain relentlessly focused on delivering the growth and acceleration plan we outlined at our Investor Day last spring. As Slide 9 indicates, we continue working hard to reshape our portfolio, which will accelerate our growth, and I’m pleased to share that we made significant progress in 2022. As we continue to drive focus on chocolate, biscuits and baked snacks, our nine strategic acquisitions since 2018 have enabled us to enter exciting adjacent spaces such as wellbeing and premium. They also have strengthened our presence in key geographies and expanded our trade coverage.
Together, these acquisitions add nearly $3 billion in revenues and are all growing high single- or double-digit. Strong execution against our proven integration playbook enabled us to rapidly realize the value of the three acquisitions we closed in 2022. The Chipita business provides us an important platform to further accelerate growth in the attractive biscuits and baked snacks category. Similarly, Clif Bar expands our global snack bar business to more than $1 billion. Additionally, Ricolino Mexico’s leading confectionary company doubles the size of our business and more than triples our routes to market in Mexico. Along with successfully integrating these three businesses, we announced in late 2022 the sale of our developed market gum business to Perfetti Van Melle for an implied EBITDA multiple of about 15x.
This divesture will help fund these recent acquisitions and streamline our portfolio. We continue to have the Halls business, which has been performing well, but still intend to divest it over time in a way that maximizes value. In conclusion, I’m pleased to reiterate that 2022 was a record year. Our focus and portfolio reshaping strategy is working and we are well positioned to continue driving attractive growth in 2023 and beyond. By continuing to double down on the attractive chocolate, biscuits and baked snacks categories, investing in our iconic brands, focusing on operational execution and cost discipline, and empowering our great people, I am confident that we can deliver strong performance for years to come. With that, I’ll turn it over to Luca to share additional insights on our financials.
Luca Zaramella: Thank you, Dirk, and good afternoon, everyone. In 2022, we delivered unprecedentedly strong results, starting with double-digit topline growth through both volume and value, which in turn translated into gross profit dollar growth, allowing the investment in the business, solid earnings and cash flow. Growth was also broad-based in terms of regions, categories and brands. Revenue growth was 12.3% and 15.4% for the year and the quarter, respectively. Importantly, nearly 3 points of full-year growth and 1.6 point of Q4 came from volume mix. Emerging markets increased 22% for the year and 24.7% for the quarter with strong performance across a significant majority of countries, including Brazil, China, India, Russia, Mexico, the Western Andean countries, and Southeast Asia.
More than 7 points of full-year growth in emerging market was driven by volume mix, confirming the great momentum of these geographies. Developed markets grew 7% for the year, and 10.5% for the quarter. Volume mix in developed markets was flat in Q4 as there were still some ongoing negotiations at the beginning of the quarter in the EU, that resulted in customer disruption, which in turn offset some good momentum in countries like the U.S, Canada, Australia, and others. Those negotiations are now fully closed, but we have just announced another pricing round in Europe. Turning to portfolio performance on Slide 12. Our chocolate and biscuit businesses both delivered double-digit growth, while gum and candy continue to recover with improved mobility.
Biscuits grew 11.7% for the year and 18% for the quarter, supported by significant volume growth. Oreo, Ritz, Chips Ahoy!, Tate’s, Give & Go and Club Social were among the brands that performed very well. Chocolate grew more than 10% for both the year and quarter with significant growth across both developed and emerging markets. Volume mix was virtually flat in Q4 due to customer disruption in Europe. Emerging market posted exceptional double-digit growth for the year and the quarter. Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka, Lacta and Toblerone, all delivered robust growth. Gum and candy grew 25% for the year and the quarter. Brazil, Mexico, and the Western Andean area all performed well. Now let’s review market share performance on Slide 13. We held or gained share in 40% of our revenue base, which includes 15 points of headwinds coming from the U.S. supply chain, that while improving, still weighs on the full-year share performance.
Chocolate held or gained share in 50% of our revenue base. This number include a strong Christmas season, which gains in several key countries, but also reflect customer disruption in Europe. Retailer and consumer activities are now vastly restored in the region, but the price that we just announced might have a negative impact in the first two quarters of 2023 as far as share goes. Our biscuit business held or gained share in 25% of our revenue base. This includes 30 points of headwind from the U.S. supply constraint and customer disruption in Europe. The U.S. made significant service level improvements in the back half of 2022 narrowing share losses and we expect this trajectory to continue to improve in 2023. Turning to Page 14. For the year, we delivered strong double-digit OI dollar growth, driven by a record high increasing gross profit of nearly $1.4 billion.
In Q4, we also saw strong double-digit OI and gross profit dollar growth. Moving to regional performance on Slide 15. Europe grew 7.4% for the year and 8.7% for the quarter. Thanks to strong execution, volume mix was flat for the year despite customer disruption in Q3 and Q4. Brand support remains a priority in the region and we have continued to increase our A&C. OI dollars for the year were up 4.3% and 12.4% for the quarter and the year, respectively. Q4 profitability saw a return to growth due to an additional price increase and the emerging market performance within the segment. To close on Europe, we continue to see more pronounced inflation in this region based on energy and other input costs. We also expect to see challenge margins in Q1 given our expectations of customer disruption.
Although we saw a small uptick in elasticity for Q4, European consumer has continued to hold up well and the preference for snacking and trusted brands remains strong with elasticity levels below normal. North America grew 12.3% for the full-year and 19.5% for the quarter, higher pricing, robust volume mix and strength from our ventures such as Tate’s and Give & Go fueled those increases. Volume mix was 0.8% for the year and 4.2% for the quarter. North America profit increased 18.7% for the year and 37.3% for the quarter due to strong pricing and healthy volume results. Besides the benefits of our pricing execution, the consumer remains resilient and elasticity continues to be well below normal levels. AMEA grew 12.5% for the year and 13.6% for the quarter with strong volume growth for both periods.
India grew strong double-digit for the year and quarter, driven by both chocolate and biscuit. China increased high-single digits for the year despite COVID restrictions in certain cities and posted double-digit growth for the quarter. Finally, Southeast Asia also delivered strong double-digit growth for both periods. AMEA increased OI dollars by 9.8% for the year and 8.8% for the quarter continuing their virtual cycle. Latin America grew 31.9% for the year and 37.1% for the quarter with robust volume mix growth coupled with strong price contributions. All key markets posted double-digit increases for the quarter. Latin America has had its strongest year ever in terms of OI delivery. In fact, OI dollars in Latin America grew 48.5% for the year and more than 45% for the quarter.
Broad-based volume growth, pricing and ongoing improvements from the gum and candy categories drove these results. Next to EPS on Slide 16. Full-year EPS grew 11.9% in constant currency. This growth was primarily driven by operating gains. And despite very significant currency headwinds, we grew adjusted EPS as reported ForEx by 3.5%. Turning to Slide 17. We delivered $3 billion of free cash flow for the full-year, including a one-time expense of $300 million related to the Clif acquisition and buyout of its employee stock ownership plan. Turning to outlook on Page 19. For the current year, we expect to deliver on or in excess of our long-term algorithm for all variables. There might still be meaningful variability for the year, so we expect plus 5% to plus 7% organic net revenue growth, which stands from the higher pricing.
We also expect on our growth to adjusted EPS of high single-digit. Somewhat like 2022, we expect a slightly different shape related to the P&L with higher topline, strong profit dollar growth and lower than historical margin rate given elevated inflation and related pricing away in dollar terms. As far as assumptions grow, we are planning for another year of double-digit inflation with dollars higher than in 2022. This inflation is driven by the continued elevated cost in packaging, energy, ingredients and labor. This input costs are also more pronounced in Europe and some select emerging markets. We also had favorable coverage versus the market in 2022. And although spot rates have been easing in many cases, new hedges are coming at higher levels than what was incorporated in March of last year.
We are taking action with a flexible hedging program by using options to minimize risk and volatility, whether commodity rise or fall significantly from current rate. That is to reassure you that in case of commodity price dislocations, we will still be in a position to hit our profit commitment while still investing for growth. In terms of interest expenses, we expect an incremental $90 million for the line associated with the financing of recent acquisitions that we plan to repay later in the year with the developed gum divestiture proceed. We are planning for a net increase in total pension cost of around $25 million as above the line service cost will be lower and below the line element will be worse due to the rising interest rate. Important to note that due to our strong funding levels, we do not have to make additional contributions to our plan.
We will also benefit from the higher OI dollar contribution from the acquisitions of Clif and Ricolino and their related synergies. In terms of phasing, we expect Q1 to be lower from a margin rate perspective due to lower volumes in Europe associated with the expected customer disruptions and Chinese New Year phasing. Disruption in Europe might also continue into Q2. We are expecting $0.04 of EPS headwinds related to ForEx. With respect to free cash flow, we expect another strong year with $3.3 billion plus absent any significant one-time non-operating item. In this outlook, we also expect an adjusted effective tax rate in the low to mid-20s based on what we know today and a share repurchase of around $2 billion. With that, let’s open the line for questions.
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