Mark Ritson: Kraft Heinz is in 57 varieties of trouble
It’s been an awful week for Kraft Heinz. The giant food conglomerate born from the $49bn merger of Kraft Foods and Heinz four years ago is reeling from a disastrous close to 2018. Last week the company posted a net loss of $12.6bn for the final quarter.
That is a huge loss by any corporate standard, even the heady numbers that surround Kraft Heinz. It represents around half of annual net sales of the company, for example. The financial markets reacted immediately to the news, wiping 27% from the company’s share price last Friday.
Success, we have so often been told, has many fathers while failure is an orphan. But there are usually also plenty of people lined up to explain to the lonely child why she lost her parents. That’s certainly true of Kraft Heinz. Since Thursday’s shock announcement several competing explanations for the sudden drop have started to circulate.