Danone’s profits curdled by Morocco boycott

Danone said their net profit decreased by 4.1 percent in 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 19 February 2019
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Danone’s profits curdled by Morocco boycott

  • Moroccans started a boycott against Danone’s milk because of the high prices
  • The boycott is going on since April 2018

PARIS: A consumer boycott on Danone products in Morocco contributed to the French food giant’s profits and sales sinking last year, it said Tuesday.
The world’s largest yoghurt maker said in a statement that its net profit fell by 4.1 percent to $2.65 billion in 2018.
Sales dropped by 2.1 percent in the last three months of the year, driven by a 35 percent plunge in Morocco, where there has been unprecedented boycott campaign over high prices against Danone milk and two other well-known brands since April.
The boycott’s impact in 2018 “on total net sales was a decrease of -$201 million versus 2017 net sales, of which around two thirds come from losses in milk sales, and one third from losses in dairy products,” the company said in a statement.
Chief financial officer Cecile Cabanis said in a conference call that there was still a market share for Danone’s products in Morocco, but she did not expect to return to growth there before the end of 2019.
The boycott campaign against the high cost of living in Morocco spread like wildfire online last year, calling on Danone milk, Afriquia service stations and Sidi Ali water — the leaders in their sectors — to lower their prices.
Despite the boycott, the company said its full-year reported sales were down just 0.7 percent
It benefited from sales of dairy products stabilizing in Europe, growing strongly in the CIS region that includes most ex-Soviet countries and also improving in Latin America.
In North America, sales in the “essential dairy and plant-based” food products division surged by 12.2 percent to five billion euros.
Sales of infant formula products fell in China, but Cabanis said the decline was slowing, dropping from 20 percent in the third quarter to 10 percent in the fourth.
Looking ahead to the current year, Danone is aiming for like-for-like sales growth of three percent and an operating margin above 15 percent.
Following the announcement, the company’s share price bumped upwards by 0.3 percent in morning trading in Paris.


Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

Updated 23 May 2019
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Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

  • It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level
  • Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage

NICOSIA: Egypt has signed a deal with a Cypriot firm to lay a 310-kilometer (195-mile) cable under the Mediterranean to export electricity to Europe, the company said on Thursday.
Nicosia-based EuroAfrica described the deal, worth an estimated two billion euros, as a “landmark.”
“Cyprus now becomes a major hub for the transmission of electricity from Africa to Europe,” said company chairman Ioannis Kasoulides.
It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level.
Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage.
“The national electricity grid of Egypt will be linked to the European electricity system through Cyprus and will contribute to energy security,” Kasoulides said.
Following the crises in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the EU has been keen to develop alternative sources of energy to reduce its dependence on imports from Russia.
In the past year, gas has started flowing from four major new fields off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and output is already sufficient to meet domestic needs.
The Arab world’s most populous country is now seeking to develop the infrastructure to export its newfound energy wealth, both as liquefied natural gas and as electricity.
Egypt is also seeking to import gas from fields off Cyprus and Israel to boost the profitability of the new liquefaction and export facilities it is developing on its Mediterranean coast.
In September, Egypt signed a deal with Cyprus to build an undersea pipeline to pump Cypriot offshore gas to Egypt for processing for export to Europe.
The plans have led to closer eastern Mediterranean ties, with Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel holding regular high-level meetings.