Premier Foods CEO Gavin Darby appears to have managed to re write the English language and turn company jargon into an art form. The fact that nobody else uses it, many may not be able to understand it, seems to be an essential requirement for the busy CEO seeking to impress his board and the company shareholders with his ability to use nonsensical jargon. An inability to distinguish nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs becomes a definite advantage.
“Impactful” for example is defined as “A non-existent word coined by business drones to make their work sound far more useful, exciting and beneficial than it really is.” It is on a list of 65 “buzzwords” use of which should be avoided.
Here are more of Mr. Darby’s meaningly jargonful word formats;
He is pleased with the “quality of instore execution”
“Significantly more off shelf shipper display units” have been deployed
“double digit divisional contribution margins”
“delicious golden oaty snack pack cake slices”
Indeed so proud is Mr. Darby of his re creation of the English language that he uses some of these gems, not once but twice.
The best thing to do with today’s trading update is to ignore the jargon and go straight to the statistics where it becomes apparent that Mr. Darby’s management skills and his enthusiasm, far outweigh his English usability skillfulness..
Grocery sales for the 13 weeks to the 2nd January fell by 2.7% and without blinking an eye it is explained that this was due to the warmest December on record. Now that is a new one. We have had companies blaming rain, snow, fog, floods, ice and snow for their sales being impactfully impacted but I can not remember a warm spell in December being management selected as the appropriate excuse to deploy for falling grocery sales. One must remember that in December there is the huge bonus of Christmas with the execution by Premier of 185 million mince pies, a rise of 8% on last year. Not much sign of weather impact there.
On the international front Premier did well, with the quarters sales rising by 10%, a continuation of the second quarters performance. Sweet Treats performed very strongly and this also is expected to continue, which is where those double digit divisional contribution margins come in.
And now for a taste of those golden oaty snack pack cake slices with my morning coffee.
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