American small and medium-size companies that rely on China are scrambling to adjust their business plans in response to the escalating trade war.Traderead more
Here are the products that stand to be the most affected by China's new tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.Marketsread more
The summit comes amid fears over a global economic slowdown, and U.S. tensions over trade allies, Iran and Russia.Politicsread more
The world's second biggest economy is past a point where it cannot ignore its enormous debt anymore, according to an analyst.China Economyread more
As demand for lab monkeys continues to rise, U.S. scientists are reporting delays in research projects because they can't obtain enough animals, according to the National...Politicsread more
The European Union will respond in kind if the U.S. imposes tariffs on France over digital tax plan, EU chief Donald Tusk told G-7.Technologyread more
Trump said he will raise tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods to 30% and hike duties on another $300 billion in products to 15%.Politicsread more
Carl Medlock used to work at Tesla. Now he's one of the few people in the U.S. that can fix the company's original Roadster electric vehicles.Technologyread more
China said on Saturday it strongly opposes Washington's decision to levy additional tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods and warned the United States of consequences...Politicsread more
Stocks dropped after Donald Trump ordered that U.S. manufacturers find alternatives to their operations in China.US Marketsread more
The final week of August could be highly volatile as markets fret over the economy and the latest developments in trade wars.Market Insiderread more
WHEN: TODAY, Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Outgoing Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld and CNBC's Sara Eisen on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F 9AM-11AM) today, Tuesday, October 31s. Following is a link to video from the interview on CNBC.com: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/10/31/mondelez-ceo-irene-rosenfeld-our-snacking-categories-are-correlated-with-gdp.html.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
SARA EISEN: SHARES OF MONDELEZ RISING 6% THIS MORNING AFTER POSTING HIGHER THAN EXPECTED EARNINGS LAST NIGHT. THE SNACK MAKER REPORTING IMPROVING SALES IN BOTH NORTH AMERICA AND EMERGING MARKETS. EUROPE, ALSO A BIG PART OF THE STORY. JOINING US NOW FOR AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW IS MONDELEZ CEO IRENE ROSENFELD, FRESH OFF HER FINAL EARNINGS CALL AS CEO. WELCOME BACK, IRENE.
IRENE ROSENFELD: THANKS, SARA.
EISEN: SO TALK TO US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE STATE OF THE UNDERLYING BUSINESS. JUST HOW MUCH IMPROVEMENT WAS THERE BECAUSE THERE BECAUSE THERE WERE SOME SPECIAL FACTORS, LIKE THE DOLLAR HAS STOPPED HURTING AND YOU DID MANAGE TO RECOVER FROM THAT MALWARE HACK THAT INFLUENCED LAST QUARTER.
ROSENFELD: YEAH, LOOK, THERE WERE CERTAINLY SOME UNIQUE FACTORS, BUT BOTH THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE. I THINK WHAT WE WERE MOST PLEASED BY WAS TO SEE THE ACCELERATING SALES GROWTH WHILE AT THE SAME TIME WE CONTINUED OUR SIZABLE MARGIN EXPANSION. SO IT'S BEEN A CHALLENGING TIME WITH THE MACROS OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS. WE'RE DELIGHTED TO START TO SEE THE EMERGING MARKET ECONOMIES RECOVERING. WE'RE DELIGHTED TO SEE 4X STABILIZING AGAINST THE DOLLAR, AND ALL OF THOSE FACTORS WITH THE UNDERLYING BUSINESS MOMENTUM CONTRIBUTED TO WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE A VERY GOOD QUARTER FOR US ON BOTH THE TOP AND BOTTOM LINES.
EISEN: IT DOES PAINT A PICTURE OF JUST AN OVERALL ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENT. WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THAT. I TALKED ABOUT IT WITH CHRISTINE LAGARDE. THE FACT THAT THE GLOBAL ECONOMY FEELS LIKE IT'S FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS, COMING FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES. HOW SUSTAINABLE IS THAT BOOST IN CONSUMER SPENDING, AS YOU SEE IT?
ROSENFELD: I THINK IT'S QUITE SUSTAINABLE. WE'VE WAITED QUITE A NUMBER OF YEARS TO START TO SEE THE ECONOMY COMING BACK. CLEARLY, OUR SNACKING CATEGORIES ARE VERY CORRELATED WITH GDP, AND SO AS WE SEE GDP COMING BACK AND IN FACT GROWING IN A NUMBER OF OUR KEY EMERGING MARKETS, THAT'S A REAL TAILWIND FOR US. SO I THINK IT'S QUITE SUSTAINABLE. IT'S NOT A FULL RECOVERY YET. WE'RE STILL SEEING SOME SOFTNESS IN MARKETS LIKE BRAZIL, BUT THEY'RE A LOT STRONGER THAN WE HAD SEEN OVER THE LAST COUPLE QUARTERS.
EISEN: WHICH SORT OF BRINGS US TO WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW YOU ARE STEPPING DOWN IN JUST A FEW WEEKS. THIS WAS YOUR LAST EARNINGS PERIOD AS CEO. YOU KNOW, THE BUSINESS HAS JUST STARTED TO TURN AND YOU HAVE PUT A LOT OF – YOU HAVE PLANTED A LOT OF SEEDS. LAUNCHING A NEW SNACK BRAND, RETHINKING MARKETS AND BRANDS IN CERTAIN MARKETS. CUTTING COSTS, WHICH HAS BEEN A BIG PART OF THE STORY. WHERE ARE YOU IN THE TURNAROUND OR IN THE BUSINESS THAT YOU'RE PASSING ON?
ROSENFELD: LOOK, WE HAVE DONE A LOT OF HEAVY LIFTING OVER THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, SARA, AS WE WATCHED THE MACRO ENVIRONMENT WORSENING, WE FOCUSED VERY MUCH ON WHAT WE COULD CONTROL AND THAT LED US TO A VERY SIZABLE MARGIN EXPANSION PROGRAM, A BIG FOCUS ON COST AND OVER THESE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, WE DID A LOT OF THAT HEAVY LIFTING, BOTH IN OVERHEADS AS WELL AS IN OUR SUPPLY CHAIN. AT THE SAME TIME, WE ALWAYS UNDERSTOOD THAT SOME DAY, THESE MARKETS WOULD COME BACK, AND WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE WOULD BE WELL POSITIONED WHEN THAT HAPPENED. AND SO WE HAVE INVESTED IN OUR BRANDS, IN OUR ROUTES TO MARKET, AND IT'S STARTING TO PAY DIVIDENDS. SO I FEEL VERY GOOD THAT THE BUSINESS IS POISED TO CONTINUE THE MOMENTUM THAT WE'RE STARTING TO SEE.
EISEN: YOUR SUCCESSOR, DIRK VAN DE PUT, WHAT IS HIS BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS HE TAKES OVER THE COMPANY?
ROSENFELD: I THINK MY BIGGEST PIECE OF ADVICE TO DIRK IS IT'S ABOUT PROFITABLE GROWTH. I THINK WE'VE GOT THE FUNDAMENTAL FOUNDATION IN TERMS OF OUR MARGIN STRUCTURE SETUP. OBVIOUSLY, WE'LL CONTINUE TO SEE OPPORTUNITIES THERE. BUT THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY NOW IS TO FIGURE OUT WHICH ARE THE BEST BETS TO PLACE SO THAT WE CAN FURTHER ACCELERATE OUR TOP LINE GROWTH. I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THE COMBINATION OF A STRONG TOP LINE TOGETHER WITH A STRONG BOTTOM LINE IS WHAT MAKES FOR A SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS.
EISEN: WHAT ELSE CAN YOU TELL INVESTORS ABOUT THE TRANSITION? I WAS ON THE EARNINGS CALL LAST NIGHT. NEARLY EVERY ANALYST THANKED YOU, SAID YOU HAVE BEEN GREAT, CREATED A TON OF SHAREHOLDER VALUE. FIRST LEAVING KRAFT, THEN THE SPLIT, THEN MONDELEZ. THE NEW CEO LED ONE OF THE BIGGEST MAKERS OF FROZEN POTATO PRODUCT, BUT IT WAS A PRIVATE COMPANY, A CANADIAN COMPANY. NOT SOMEONE YOU GROOMED INTERNALLY, WHICH I KNOW YOU HAVE A LONG TRACK RECORD OF DOING. WHAT DO INVESTORS NEED TO KNOW TO CONTINUE TO HAVE THE FAITH HERE?
ROSENFELD: WELL, LOOK, I THINK AS WE SAID AT THE TIME THAT WE NAMED DIRK IN AUGUST, HE HAS A VERY STORIED CAREER IN CONSUMER PRODUCTS, IN MANY DIFFERENT PLACES. HE'S A GLOBAL CITIZEN. HE'S LIVED ON THREE CONTINENTS. HE SPEAKS FIVE LANGUAGES. I THINK HE'S VERY WELL SCHOOLED AS HE TAKES ON THE CHALLENGE OF OUR COMPANY. I THINK ONE OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES, THOUGH, THAT HAS BEEN ON OUR INVESTORS MINDS IS "DOES HE UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF MARGIN?" AND I CAN SAY WITH GREAT CONFIDENCE THAT CLEARLY DIRK WILL COME IN, HE'LL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR TO BEGIN THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS, BUT HE TRULY UNDERSTANDS THE ROLE THAT MARGIN EXPANSION HAS PLAYED IN OUR OVERALL ALGORITHM, AND I'M CONFIDENT THAT HE'LL CONTINUE TO BUILD ON THAT MOMENTUM ON OUR BOTTOM LINE WHILE HE THEN ACCELERATES THE TOP LINE.
EISEN: NELSON PELTZ IS ON YOUR BOARD AND I KNOW WE TALKED LAST WEEK AT OUR NET NET CONFERENCE THAT WE HOSTED YOU AT ABOUT ACTIVISTS. YOU SAID THAY THE BEST STRATEGY HERE IS TO ENGAGE. YOU WELCOMED HIM ON THE BOARD. YOU FOUND IT PRODUCTIVE. YOU TOLD COMPANIES NOT TO BE SCARED OF ACTIVISTS. I WONDER IF YOU THINK THAT -- JUST A GENERAL INDUSTRY QUESTION – PROCTER & GAMBLE HAS MADE A MISTAKE FIGHTING SO HARD TO KEEP HIM OFF THE BOARD WITH VERY LITTLE TO SHOW FOR IT, JUST A MINOR WIN?
ROSENFELD: I THINK EVERY COMPANY HAS TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS, SARA. THERE'S NO QUESTION IN OUR CASE, WE WERE ON A PATH AS WE WATCHED THE MACRO ENVIRONMENT SHIFTING, WE WERE ON A PATH TO FOCUS MORE AGGRESSIVELY ON MARGINS. THAT WAS VERY MUCH A PART OF NELSON'S THESIS. AND IN OUR CASE, I BELIEVE THAT IT WAS THE RIGHT DECISION TO INVITE HIM TO JOIN OUR BOARD HE'S BEEN A VERY CONSTRUCTIVE DIRECTOR. AND CERTAINLY, I WOULD SAY OUR RESULTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.
EISEN: YOU KNOW, THE INDUSTRY HAS SEEN SO MUCH ACTIVISM, M&A YOU HAVE SEEN IT, ALL DRIVEN BY THE FACT THAT THERE ARE BIG CONSUMER CHANGES, SLOWER GROWTH I WONDER IF YOU COULD TELL US YOUR PROGNOSIS FOR THE INDUSTRY AT LARGE. THE FACT THAT KELLOGG IS SOARING THIS MORNING, BUT NEGATIVE SALES GROWTH. I MEAN, ARE WE GOING TO SEE A REBOUND IN THIS INDUSTRY, ARE WE GOING TO SEE SMALLER COMPANIES, BIGGER COMPANIES? HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE HERE IN THE FOOD BUSINESS?
ROSENFELD: YOU KNOW, I REALLY FEEL THIS IS A GLOBAL ECONOMY, SARA, AND I DO THINK SCALE WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE. BUT IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT COMPANIES KEEP THEIR EARS TO THE GROUND. I MEAN, WE HAVE SEEN THE MOST PROFOUND CHANGES IN THE CONSUMER, IN THE CUSTOMER BASE, IN THE CHANNEL PENETRATION, IN OUR COMPETITIVE ACTIONS. AND AS A RESULT, IT'S BEEN PROBABLY THE MAGNITUDE AND THE SPEED OF THOSE CHANGES IS BIGGER THAN ANY I HAVE SEEN IN MY CAREER. BUT I HAVE GREAT CONFIDENCE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY AND CERTAINLY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE MONDELEZ BUSINESS.
EISEN: WELL, WE HOPE YOU'LL STAY IN TOUCH, IRENE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON EARNINGS. IRENE ROSENFELD, THE OUTGOING CEO OF MONDELEZ.
ROSENFELD: THANKS SO MUCH.
EISEN: AND BEST OF LUCK TO YOU. WE'RE EAGER TO HEAR WHAT COMES NEXT.
ROSENFELD: THANK YOU SARA. BYE BYE.
For more information contact:
With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and CNBC World, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to more than 409 million homes worldwide, including more than 91 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.
CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms including: CNBC.com; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides live access to CNBC programming, exclusive video content and global market data and analysis; a suite of CNBC mobile products including the CNBC Apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices; and additional products such as the CNBC App for the Apple Watch and Apple TV.
Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/programming/cnbc.
For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit http://www.NBCUniversal.com.