PepsiCo’s (PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi on Q2 2014 Results – Earnings Call Transcript

Source: Seeking Alpha


PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP)

Q2 2014 Earnings Conference Call

July 23, 2014 08:00 AM ET


Jamie Caulfield – SVP of IR

Indra Nooyi – Chairman and CEO

Hugh Johnston – CFO


John Faucher – JPMorgan

Bryan Spillane – Bank of America

Ali Dibadj – Bernstein

Bill Schmitz – Deutsche bank

Dara Mohsenian – Morgan Stanley

Steve Powers – UBS

Judy Hong – Goldman Sachs

Amit Sharma – BMO Capital Markets

Mark Swartzberg – Stifel Nicolaus


Good morning and welcome to PepsiCo’s Second Quarter 2014 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) Today’s call is being recorded and will be archived at It is now my pleasure to introduce Mr. Jamie Caulfield, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Mr. Caulfield, you may begin.

Jamie Caulfield – SVP of IR

Thank you, operator. With me today are Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s Chairman and CEO; and Hugh Johnston, PepsiCo’s CFO. We’ll lead off today’s call with a review of our second quarter 2014 performance and outlook, and then we’ll move on to Q&A.

We have kept our comments brief this morning and intend to conclude the call by 08:45, to be respectful of your time during a busy earnings week, and we’ll do our best to get to as many of your questions as we can. Before we begin, please take note of our cautionary statement.

This conference call includes forward-looking statements, including statements regarding 2014 guidance and our long-term targets based on currently available information. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those predicted in such forward-looking statements. Statements made on this conference call should be considered together with cautionary statements and other information contained in today’s earnings release and in our most recent periodic reports filed with the SEC.

Unless otherwise indicated all references to EPS and operating profit growth are on a core basis. In addition, references to organic revenue results in this call exclude the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, structural changes and foreign exchange translation. To find disclosures and reconciliations of non-GAAP measures that we use when discussing PepsiCo’s financial results, you should refer to the glossary and other attachments to this morning’s earnings release and to the Investors section of PepsiCo’s website under the Events & Presentations tab.

As we discuss today’s results, please keep in mind that our second quarter comprises the 12 weeks ended June 14, for our North American operations in the months of March, April and May for most of our operations outside of North America. As we have mentioned in our earnings release this morning, core operating profit growth rates are impacted by lapping a $137 million gain from the re-franchising of our Vietnam beverage operations in the second quarter of 2013, partially offset by incremental investments of $46 million made in the prior year quarter

Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce Indra Nooyi.

Indra Nooyi – Chairman and CEO

Thank you, Jamie, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us this morning. We are pleased with our second quarter and our first half results. Despite operating and what continues to be a challenging and volatile macro environment, we have been consistently meeting or exceeding our financial goals over the last two and half years. I believe our results reflect the hard work we have done over the last several years to position our business for sustainable success; specifically our investments to strengthen our brands, innovate more effectively, expand our geographic footprint with strategic acquisitions, drive better execution, and operate more efficiently by leveraging our global scale and complementary product portfolio.

Today, these actions and investments are producing consistent tangible results. Based on the strength of our first half results, in our outlook for the remainder of the year, we are increasing our full year core constant currency 2014 EPS growth outlook to 8%.

So let me share with you some of the performance highlights of the second quarter. Organic revenue grew approximately 4%, with global snacks up 5% and global beverages up 2%. We managed the business responsibly achieving three points of effective net pricing to effective price packed revenue management. Each of our four business units delivered organic revenue growth led by high single-digit growth in EMEA and mid-single digit growth in Europe and PepsiCo Americas Foods.

Developing and emerging markets posted solid 8% organic revenue growth led by low double-digit growth in China, high single-digit growth in Brazil and mid single-digit growth in Russia. Innovation continue to play an important role in our topline growth and accounted for 9% of our net revenue.

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Core gross margins improved by 60 basis points. Excluding the Vietnam gain, that is incremental investment from the second quarter of 2013, our core constant currency operating profit rose 6%, core operating margin improved by 65 basis points and core constant currency EPS grew 9%. On a rolling four-quarter basis, our core net ROIC improved by 30 basis points and now stands at 16.5%. In the first half of 2014, we returned $4 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases, a 46% increase versus last year. As we previously announced, we expect to return $8.7 billion to shareholders in 2014 in the form of dividends and share repurchases, a 35% increase over our 2013 cash return to shareholders.

Importantly, we achieved our targeted productivity savings in the quarter and remain on track to achieve our full-year target of $1 billion, which represents approximately 3.5% of our operating cost base excluding commodities and A&M expense.

This year we successfully complete the three-year $3 billion productivity program we launched in 2012 and we are now focused on our next generation’s five-year 5 billion productivity programs for 2019 announced earlier this year which is really centered on four key areas.

First, embedding more automation in our operations replace labor with capital. Second, expanding shared services, including global financial shared services for the handling of routine back office transaction processing. Third, restructuring, manufacturing to optimize our global manufacturing footprint. And fourth, restructuring our go-to-market systems to optimize our distribution network.

As a result of these initiatives, we expect to see continued improvement in net revenue and core earnings before interest and tax as per employee, as well as margin expansion and returns on invested capital.

So with all this as a backdrop, let’s take a look at how the business has performed, starting in North American. The North American consumer picture continues to be weak with retail sales among the top, the food and beverage manufactures roughly flat in the quarter, a slight deceleration from the first quarter.

In this challenging environment, PepsiCo grew sales at retail across each of its North American snacks and beverage businesses and was a largest contributed to retail sales growth among the top 30 manufactures.

Frito-Lay North America performed well with organic growth of 2% and core constant currency operating profit growth of 5%. Net price utilization was somewhat mutual in the quarter, as we benefitted from commodity cost deflation.

Core operating margins expanded 80 basis points despite an increase in advertising and marketing and affected savings from our productivity efforts. Our top-line growth is driven by strength across most of our largest trademarks, with Lays, Doritos and Cheetos each posting revenue growth in the low to high single digits.

Our broader macro-snack offering were also doing well with strong performance in shelf stable dips, crackers, our line of Smartfood snack and the Sabra line of refrigerated hummus, dips and spread. As we look to the second half, we are encouraged by the strength of our innovation and consumer engagement program leveraging some of our biggest brands.

In April, we launched Doritos Jack mystery flavors with nationwide distribution. Consumers voted for their favorite mystery flavor online. Earlier this month, we revealed the three flavors, Spicy Street Taco, Chocolate Chipotle Bacon and Caribbean Citrus Jerk. Spicy Street Taco was a consumer voted favorite and we launched it this fall as a permanent Jack flavor.

We also brought back the U.S. the highly successfully Lay’s Doritos flavor campaign. We’ve received more than 14 million consumer submissions, nearly four times a submissions we received for last year’s campaign.

On July 17, we announced the four finalist among consumer submitted flavors, Cappuccino, Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese, Mango Salsa and Wasabi Ginger. And these products are now hitting store shelves. Our consumers will now have the opportunity to vote for their favorite new Lay’s flavor. And we are especially excited about the progress we’re making in food service innovation.

On July 2, we launched Doritos Loaded exclusively at more than 5500, 7-Eleven stores nationwide. Doritos Loaded is a delicious hot snack served with melted Nacho Cheese and encrusted with Doritos. Our launch of loaded created a great deal of tradition and social media buzz generating more than 750 million impressions to-date. And it has also featured on Jimmy Kimmel live.

Each of these programs has a strong demonstration of how we are leveraging our Culinary center to create unique great tasting new products and driving excitement in the vendors to create a consumer engagement.

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Turning now to Quaker Foods North America, despite continued challenges across most central store food categories, we gained value share at retail in each of Quaker’s key categories, hot cereals, ready-to-eat cereals and snack bars both in the quarter and year-to-date. Core constant currency operating profit growth rose 5% of the quarter with operating profit margins expanding 155 basis points.

We are pleased with the performance of our recent innovation in 2014. We launched Quaker Express Cups which provides Quaker Instant Oatmeal in the convenient on-the-go cup. We also introduced the first of its kind hot cereal; Quaker Warm & Crunchy Granola which delivers both the wholesale goodness of Quaker Oatmeal and the satisfying crunch of market grain granola.

And finally, we are continuing to build in the success of our Real Medleys platform this time in a ready to eat cereal form. In North American beverages, we’re encouraged for the continued progress we’re making. In the second quarter and in the first half, we gained U.S. LRB value share and achieved positive net price realization at retail.

Notably, PepsiCo has held or gained relative U.S. LRB value share in major channel versus our closest competitor in each of the last five quarter. In the quarter, we also achieved greater net price realization retail and our primary competitor and the category overall.

Within the LRB category, we held or gained value share across a number of important sub-categories including CSDs, sports drinks, ready to drink tea and chilled juice and we grew retail sales in major channels in the U.S. for regular CSDs led by trademark Mountain Dew just up mid-single digits and with our non-carb portfolio for Gatorade, Lipton Tea, Starbucks Coffee and Naked Juice.

In the quarter, PAB grew both organic revenue in core constant currency operating profit with core operating profit margin expanding by 25 basis points. We’re also excited about the progress we’re making on the innovation front. In the second quarter, we introduced PEPSI SPIRE, our state-of-the-art beverage dispensers which allows consumers to create more than 1,000 customized beverages with a touch of screen while providing our food service partners flexible, cost effective, reliable equipment that best fits their needs.

PEPSI SPIRE is currently available in select U.S. locations and will continue to roll out for the rest of the year. On May 5, we also brought Mountain Dew Baja Blast to the shelves for a limited time, leveraging on the success of the fountain brand ahead of Taco Bell. Mountain Dew Baja Blast is a second largest and fastest growing fountain beverage sold at Taco Bell and may now expand the reach of the fan favorite brand.

And concurrent with the launch of the Doritos Loaded, we introduced Solar Flare, our tropical punch take on Mountain Dew exclusively at 7-Eleven. We are leveraging of the high purchase coincidence of Dew and Doritos with joint advertising, point-of-sale communication and promotion. And we are pleased with the performance of our expanded package offerings with strong double-digit growth in mini cans as well as 12 ounce glass bottle from the second quarter.

These new packages have enabled us to realize new price packed revenue benefits while maintaining flexibility for price competitiveness. So that’s another American story. Western Europe performed well with organic revenue 3% in the second quarter in a difficult retail and competitive environment.

Turning now to developing and emerging markets. In Mexico, we continue to navigate for the new the new taxes on certain foods and beverages. And as a reminder, we’ve taken pricing in snacks and our bottler has taken pricing in beverages to pass the taxes through to the consumer.

In the quarter, in Mexico, our volume decline in snacks moderated sequentially while beverage volume returned to growth as consumers began to adjust to the higher prices and our systems drove beverage share gains through improved market sales execution. We’d dealing with the tax driven price increase throughout the year and expect some quarterly volatility to continue, our results so far are in line with our expectations.

In Venezuela, we are managing through high inflation, political unrest, supply chain disruptions and continued uncertainty regarding the applicable exchange rate. Despite all the challenges, our businesses in Venezuela performed very well in the quarter with revenue up strong double-digits across both snacks and beverages.

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