Underlying the shortcoming was a significant slowdown in China’s biscuit category and ongoing difficulties within the global gum market.
The multinational reported relatively flat net revenues of $35.3bn, up just 0.8% from the previous year when the food titan, Kraft, split to form Kraft Foods Group and the newly christened global snack company, Mondelēz International. The company's original guidance for the full year was 5-7% sales growth.
In an investor call, Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO for the firm, said: “Frankly, we are very disappointed that our performance was below what we and our shareholders originally expected. But it turned out to be quite a challenging year as we faced slower category growth and volatility in some of our key markets. In the context of this macroeconomic environment, we delivered solid results.”
Global biscuit demand
She said Mondelēz had grown 9% in emerging markets despite being disproportionately affected by the category slowdown. “As we entered 2014, four of our five regions have strong underlying momentum with Asia-Pacific being the lone outlier,” she said.
Mondelēz reported growth of around 10% in its BRIC markets, with Brazil, Russia and India each posting double digit growth. However, China was up only low single-digits reflecting a significant slowdown in its biscuit category.
But globally the firm said its biscuit category performed well, with Oreo and belVita generating annual revenues of $2.5bn and $0.5bn respectively. It said the belVita brand had more than doubled in size since 2010.