Retail & Consumer Insights: 2015 Financial Benchmarking

This year’s edition of the Retail and Consumer Insights series focuses on the financial performance of consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in 2014. In this report, we discuss how the economy impacted CPG manufacturers and provide detailed financial benchmark analyses.

Our benchmarks include a range of metrics for growth, returns, income, liquidity, and balance sheet results. We analyze companies by size (small, medium, large, and very large), sector (food, beverage, and household products), and source of primary revenues (global and domestic).

As in previous years, we have also sorted companies with sales of more than $4 billion (large and very large) into performance quartiles and analyzed the results over five years to find the common characteristics that the highest-ranking manufacturers share, a category we call top-performing companies. A common trend that we have seen is that top-performing companies are getting fit for growth and investing in differentiating capabilities and operational excellence.

In this year’s analysis, there were some interesting contrasts between the performances of global and domestic manufacturers and the performance of retailers and manufacturers. Company size also yielded intriguing differences in performance, especially in terms of net sales growth.

These performance results suggest that although 2014 was a year in which the economy continued its slow recovery from the Great Recession lows and employment continues on its upswing, US manufacturers must keep relying on their own ingenuity and innovation to spark their growth rather than wait for a slowly rising and undependable global economic tide to lift them up.