Kraft Foods' second-quarter net profit rose 44.5% to $682m (£368.4m) on sales up 3.4% at $8.6bn (£4.65bn). The group said lower restructuring costs and increased sales had offset higher energy costs and sugar prices. Sales in four out of five divisions in its North American market increased during the quarter, although sales in its EU business fell 3.1% to $1.54bn. Analysts said Kraft's sales had been boosted by a late Easter this year.
Supermarket group Casino has said that exiting Poland will allow it to reduce its debt by E925m. Its businesses in Poland were acquired earlier this month by a number of retailers, including Tesco, which acquired its Leader Price stores in a deal worth £72m. Casino also reported a 15.8% increase in second-quarter sales to E6.1bn. Sales in France, which account for 70% of its sales, increased 3.7% to E4.3bn, while international sales rose 60.5% to E1.8bn.
Supervalu, the grocer that finalised its acquisition of US number two supermarket chain Albertsons last month, has warned that it expects consumer spending to be hit by higher fuel prices this year. Reporting a fall in first-quarter net profit from $91m last year to $87m, and like-for-like sales down 1.8%, the chain also warned that like-for-like sales would be flat for the remainder of the year.
Setting up shop in Central and Eastern Europe may not be as lucrative as first thought, a survey by KPMG International has warned. The survey found that more than 50% of multinational retailers and suppliers in the region reported pre-tax profit margins of 5% or less, and 25% said that they were either breaking even or making losses. Mark Walton, from KPMG's Hungarian branch, said: "In all likelihood, some markets are overheating."
German discounter Lidl has scrapped plans to enter the Estonian market in 2008. It said the market was too small to justify expansion. It has also closed down its Estonian web site. However, Edgar Savisaar, Estonia's economic affairs minister, has reportedly disagreed with the decision, arguing that the country's retail sector needs competition.
Restructuring costs have forced gum manufacturer The Wrigley Company to report a $22m fall in second-quarter net profit to $141m. However, global sales rose 16% to $167m, while global gum shipments increased 8%. Bill Wrigley, chairman, president and CEO, said: "We are taking aggressive steps to ensure that more of our top-line success translates into stronger bottom-line results."
China Resources Snow Breweries, a subsidiary of SABMiller, has acquired Chinese brewer Zhejiang Yinyan Brewery Company for $42.3m (£22.8m). The brewer has also acquired the Anhui Huaibei Xiangwang Brewery Company for $10.1m (£5.5m).