February 12, 2014 / 10:50 PM / in 4 years

UPDATE 1-Mondelez profit disappoints, shares fall

Feb 12 (Reuters) - Cadbury chocolate seller Mondelez International Inc on Wednesday reported quarterly profit that fell short of Wall Street estimates amid weak global demand for packaged food and vowed to do better in 2014.

Shares in Mondelez, which also makes Oreo cookies and Trident gum, fell 3 percent to $32.20 in extended trading after the company noted significant softness in its cookie business in China.

Deerfield, Illinois-based Mondelez said fourth-quarter net earnings totaled $1.7 billion, or $1 per share, including a 91-cent gain from the resolution of arbitration over Kraft’s grocery coffee sales battle with Starbucks Corp.

Adjusted earnings for the latest quarter were 42 cents per share, including a two-cent-per-share hit from currency translation. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 44 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net revenue was down 0.1 percent to $9.49 billion, but organic net revenue, which strips out the impact of acquisitions and other items, rose 2.5 percent.

Its gum business performed well, but its China business took a hit as distributors there reduced biscuit, or cookie, inventory

Mondelez on Wednesday said its organic revenue growth rate would be “at or above our category growth rate,” which it forecast at about 4 percent in 2014.

“We’re disappointed that our results were below what we and our shareholders originally expected,” Mondelez Chairwoman and Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld said in a statement. “We’re committed to improving results in 2014 and beyond.”

Mondelez, which was spun off from Kraft in 2012, has estimated full-year earnings of $1.78 to $1.78 per share. Analysts, on average, had expected profit of $1.71 per share in 2014, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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