Mondelez Falls as Labor Crunch, Higher Input Prices Weigh

© Reuters.

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Mondelez stock (NASDAQ:) fell 4.2% Friday after the Oreo cookie maker warned of continued struggles with labor shortages and more expensive raw materials.

“We have entered 2022 with low stocks, and we are working to rebuild inventory levels, which takes time in this environment,” Reuters quoted Mondelez Chief Financial Officer Luca Zaramella as telling analysts in a call.

The maker of Cadbury and Toblerone chocolates expects 2022 cost inflation to be in the high single digits, while it hopes to offset that with price increases and steps aimed at increasing revenue.

It also warned of an 8-cent hit to its full-year adjusted earnings per share from foreign currency translation, adding it would cut net revenue growth by about 2.5%.

While the pandemic boosted demand for cookies and beverages, it also created a severe shortage of raw materials, that was made adverse by shortage of labor, congestion at ports and just about everything getting more expensive. In Mondelez’s case, a six-week strike of about 1,000 workers in August at its U.S. plants made matters worse. 

Quarterly revenue rose 5% to $7.7 billion, boosted by higher product prices and volumes. Adjusted profit per share of 72 cents, and like sales, was above estimates.

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