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Unilever: underlying sales up 6.6 per cent in first quarter; reported sales fall on euro

AMSTERDAM - Unilever PLC, the maker of consumer products such as Dove soaps and Ben In a trading update, the company said sales fell 6.3 per cent to 11.4 billion euros ($15.8 billion). That included a negative 8.9 per cent currency impact as around two-thirds of the company's sales come from outside the eurozone. After currency effects and sales are stripped out, Unilever reported underlying growth of 3.6 per cent despite a decline in North America. It noted modest improvements in Europe and a big 6.6 per cent rise in emerging markets.

Kraft recalls 96,000 pounds of hot dogs due to undeclared allergen

(Reuters) - Kraft Foods Group Inc is recalling about 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners because the packages may instead contain Classic Cheese Dogs made with milk, a known allergen. The product labels are incorrect as they do not reflect the ingredients associated with the pasteurized cheese in the cheese dogs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a statement on Sunday.

Post Holdings to buy Michael Foods for $2.45 bn

US breakfast cereals giant Post Holdings will buy Michael Foods, which specializes in egg and dairy products, for $2.45 billion, the companies said Thursday. Post Holdings, which has been on a buying spree to diversify its food products portfolio, said the Michael Foods deal was its biggest acquisition to date. The St. Louis, Missouri-based Post Holdings said Michael Foods will continue to be managed by its existing executive team led by chief executive Jim Dwyer.

Sodastream in talks to sell up to 16 percent stake: report

(Reuters) - At-home soda maker Sodastream International is in early talks to sell a stake of up to 16 percent to a strategic entity, Israeli financial news daily Calcalist reported on its website. U.S. shares of Sodastream rose as much as 12 percent to $42.25 on Wednesday after the website identified PepsiCo Inc, Dr Pepper Snapple Group or Starbucks Co as the potential investors in the Israel-based company. The website did not cite any sources for its information.

Danone says China recall weighs on first-quarter sales

French dairy food giant Danone reported on Wednesday a slide in first quarter sales as it struggles to turn around its Chinese business amid volatility in currency markets. Total sales in the first three months of the year fell by 5.2 percent from the performance a year earlier to 5.061 billion euros ($7 billion), the company said. The company was hit hard last year but a false health alert by a supplier which caused it to recall products in China and damaged its brand.

Tesco seeks Asia pick-up after fresh profit setback

Supermarket giant Tesco announced a second drop in annual profits in a row on Wednesday, leaving Britain's biggest retailer hoping that recent expansion into India and China can offset weakness in Europe. The world's third-biggest supermarket group said its trading profit dropped 6.0 percent to £3.31 billion ($5.54 billion, 4.0 billion euros) in the year to late February, compared with its performance in 2012/13.

Supermarket Tesco reports profit setback, focuses on Asia

Supermarket giant Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, announced a second drop running in underlying annual profits on Wednesday as it hopes that recent expansion into India and China can offset weakness in Europe. The copany, the world's third-biggest supermarket group, said its trading profit dropped 6.0 percent to £3.31 billion ($5.54 billion, 4.0 billion euros) in the year to late February, compared with its performance in 2012/13. But annual profit after tax though soared to £974 million from £28 million.

Exclusive: Nestle and Fresenius home in on Danone Medical - sources

By Anjuli Davies and Andreas Kröner LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The field of bidders for Danone's Medical Nutrition business has narrowed to German healthcare group Fresenius and Swiss food company Nestle, two people familiar with the process told Reuters on Friday. Talks over the business, which has been valued at 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion), would soon enter a decisive phase, they said.

Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck flies south to Australia

Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck restaurant will close its doors in Britain and relocate to Australia for six months in 2015, Melbourne's Crown resort said Monday. The famed Michelin three-starred restaurant in Bray, west of London, will spend half of the year in Australia's second-biggest city before returning to its home in Britain. Blumenthal, who will bring the entire Fat Duck team with him to Australia, described the move as an "incredible opportunity" to remain open while the British restaurant undergoes renovations.

Burger King to roll out mobile payment options for customers

Burger King is going mobile. The fast-food chain said Wednesday that it will soon begin accepting payments and offering discounts through mobile devices. Burger King says it will unveil a new app in April that customers can use to buy burgers at more than 7,000 U.S. locations. Eventually, the company plans to add other features, such as the ability to pre-order food. The company says the app will provide convenient payment options for customers and critical information on consumer habits to the company.
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