Our Business Risks
This Annual Report contains statements reflecting our views about our future performance that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Reform Act"). Statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act are generally identified through the inclusion of words such as "believe," "expect," "intend," "estimate," "project," "anticipate," "will" and variations of such words and other similar expressions. All statements addressing our future operating performance, and statements addressing events and developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available information, operating plans and projections about future events and trends. They inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted in any such forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The discussion of risks below and elsewhere in this report is by no means all inclusive but is designed to highlight what we believe are important factors to consider when evaluating our future performance.
Demand for our products may be adversely affected by changes in consumer preferences and tastes or if we are unable to innovate or market our products effectively.
We are a consumer products company operating in highly competitive categories and rely on continued demand for our products. To generate revenues and profits, we must sell products that appeal to our customers and to consumers. Any significant changes in consumer preferences or any inability on our part to anticipate or react to such changes could result in reduced demand for our products and erosion of our competitive and financial position. Our success depends on: our ability to anticipate and respond to shifts in consumer trends, including increased demand for products that meet the needs of consumers who are increasingly concerned with health and wellness; our product quality; our ability to extend our portfolio of convenient foods in growing markets; our ability to develop new products that are responsive to consumer preferences, including our "fun-for-you", "good-for-you" and "better-for-you" products; and our ability to respond to competitive product and pricing pressures. For example, our growth rate may be adversely affected if we are unable to maintain or grow our current share of the liquid refreshment beverage market in North America, or our current share of the snack market globally, or if demand for our products does not grow in emerging and developing markets.
In general, changes in product category consumption or consumer demographics could result in reduced demand for our products. Consumer preferences may shift due to a variety of factors, including the aging of the general population; consumer concerns regarding the health effects of ingredients such as sodium, sugar or other product ingredients or attributes; changes in social trends that impact travel, vacation or leisure activity patterns; changes in weather patterns or seasonal consumption cycles; negative publicity (whether or not valid) resulting from regulatory action or litigation against us or other companies in our industry; a downturn in economic conditions; or taxes that would increase the cost of our products to consumers. Any of these changes may reduce consumers' willingness to purchase our products. See also "Our financial performance could suffer if we are unable to compete effectively.", "Unfavorable economic conditions may have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition.", "Any damage to our reputation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations." and "Changes in the legal and regulatory environment could limit our business activities, increase our operating costs, reduce demand for our products or result in litigation."
Our continued success is also dependent on our product innovation, including maintaining a robust pipeline of new products and improving the quality of existing products, and the effectiveness of our product packaging, advertising campaigns and marketing programs, including our ability to successfully adapt to a rapidly changing media environment, such as through use of social media and online advertising campaigns and marketing programs. Although we devote significant resources to the actions mentioned above, there can be no assurance as to our continued ability to develop and launch successful new products or variants of existing products or to effectively execute advertising campaigns and marketing programs. In addition, both the launch and ongoing success of new products and advertising campaigns are inherently uncertain, especially as to their appeal to consumers. Our failure to make the right strategic investments to drive innovation or successfully launch new products or variants of existing products could decrease demand for our existing products by negatively affecting consumer perception of existing brands, as well as result in inventory write-offs and other costs.
Our financial performance could suffer if we are unable to compete effectively.
The food, snack and beverage industries in which we operate are highly competitive. We compete with major international food, snack and beverage companies that, like us, operate in multiple geographic areas, as well as regional, local and private label manufacturers and other value competitors. In many countries where we do business, including the United States, The Coca-Cola Company is our primary beverage competitor. We also compete with other large companies in each of the food, snack and beverage categories, including Nestlé S.A., Kraft Foods Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. We compete on the basis of brand recognition, taste, price, quality, product variety, distribution, marketing and promotional activity, convenience, service and the ability to identify and satisfy consumer preferences. If we are unable to compete effectively, we may be unable to grow or maintain sales or gross margins in the global market or in various local markets. This may have a material adverse impact on our revenues and profit margins. See also "Unfavorable economic conditions may have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition."
Unfavorable economic conditions may have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition.
Many of the countries in which we operate, including the United States and several of the members of the European Union, have experienced and continue to experience unfavorable economic conditions. Our business or financial results may be adversely impacted by these unfavorable economic conditions, including: adverse changes in interest rates, tax laws or tax rates; volatile commodity markets and inflation; contraction in the availability of credit in the marketplace, potentially impairing our ability to access the capital markets on terms commercially acceptable to us or at all; the effects of government initiatives to manage economic conditions; reduced demand for our products resulting from a slow-down in the general global economy or a shift in consumer preferences for economic reasons or otherwise to regional, local or private label products or other economy products, or to less profitable channels; impairment of assets; or a decrease in the fair value of pension assets that could increase future employee benefit costs and/or funding requirements of our pension plans. In addition, we cannot predict how current or worsening economic conditions will affect our critical customers, suppliers and distributors and any negative impact on our critical customers, suppliers or distributors may also have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition. In addition, some of the major financial institutions with which we execute transactions, including U.S. and non-U.S. commercial banks, insurance companies, investment banks, and other financial institutions, may be exposed to a ratings downgrade, bankruptcy, liquidity, default or similar risks as a result of unfavorable economic conditions. A ratings downgrade, bankruptcy, receivership, default or similar event involving a major financial institution may limit the availability of credit or willingness of financial institutions to extend credit on terms commercially acceptable to us or at all or, with respect to financial institutions who are parties to our financing arrangements, leave us with reduced borrowing capacity or unhedged against certain currencies or price risk associated with forecasted purchases of raw materials which could have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition.
Any damage to our reputation could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Maintaining a good reputation globally is critical to selling our branded products. Product contamination or tampering, the failure to maintain high standards for product quality, safety and integrity, including with respect to raw materials and ingredients obtained from suppliers, or allegations of product quality issues, mislabeling or contamination, even if untrue, may reduce demand for our products or cause production and delivery disruptions. If any of our products becomes unfit for consumption, causes injury or is mislabeled, we may have to engage in a product recall and/or be subject to liability. A widespread product recall or a significant product liability issue could cause our products to be unavailable for a period of time, which could further reduce consumer demand and brand equity. Our reputation could also be adversely impacted by any of the following, or by adverse publicity (whether or not valid) relating thereto: the failure to maintain high ethical, social and environmental standards for all of our operations and activities; the failure to achieve our goals with respect to sodium, saturated fat and added sugar reduction or the development of our global nutrition business; our research and development efforts; our environmental impact, including use of agricultural materials, packaging, energy use and waste management; or our responses to any of the foregoing. In addition, water is a limited resource in many parts of the world and demand for water continues to increase. Our reputation could be damaged if we or others in our industry do not act, or are perceived not to act, responsibly with respect to water use. Failure to comply with local laws and regulations, to maintain an effective system of internal controls or to provide accurate and timely financial information could also hurt our reputation. Damage to our reputation or loss of consumer confidence in our products for any of these or other reasons could result in decreased demand for our products and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as require additional resources to rebuild our reputation.
Our financial performance could be adversely affected if we are unable to grow our business in developing and emerging markets or as a result of unstable political conditions, civil unrest or other developments and risks in the markets where our products are sold.
Our operations outside of the United States, particularly in Russia, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom, contribute significantly to our revenue and profitability, and we believe that our businesses in developing and emerging markets, particularly China and India, present important future growth opportunities for us. However, there can be no assurance that our existing products, variants of our existing products or new products that we make, manufacture, market or sell will be accepted or successful in any particular developing or emerging market, due to local competition, product price, cultural differences or otherwise. If we are unable to expand our businesses in developing and emerging markets, or achieve the return on capital we expect as a result of our investments, particularly in Russia, as a result of economic and political conditions, increased competition, reduced demand for our products, an inability to acquire or form strategic business alliances or to make necessary infrastructure investments or for any other reason, our financial performance could be adversely affected. Unstable political conditions, civil unrest or other developments and risks in the markets where our products are sold, including in Russia, the Middle East and Egypt, could also have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition. Factors that could adversely affect our business results in these markets include: foreign ownership restrictions; nationalization of our assets; regulations on the transfer of funds to and from foreign countries, which, from time to time, result in significant cash balances in foreign countries such as Venezuela, and on the repatriation of funds; currency hyperinflation or devaluation; the lack of well-established or reliable legal systems; and increased costs of business due to compliance with complex foreign and United States laws and regulations that apply to our international operations, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act, and adverse consequences, such as the assessment of fines or penalties, for failing to comply with these laws and regulations. In addition, disruption in these markets due to political instability or civil unrest could result in a decline in consumer purchasing power, thereby reducing demand for our products. See also "Demand for our products may be adversely affected by changes in consumer preferences and tastes or if we are unable to innovate or market our products effectively.", "Our financial performance could suffer if we are unable to compete effectively.", "Changes in the legal and regulatory environment could limit our business activities, increase our operating costs, reduce demand for our products or result in litigation." and "Disruption of our supply chain could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations."
Trade consolidation or the loss of any key customer could adversely affect our financial performance.
We must maintain mutually beneficial relationships with our key customers, including Wal-Mart, as well as other retailers, to effectively compete. The loss of any of our key customers, including Wal-Mart, could have an adverse effect on our financial performance. In addition, in the event that retail ownership becomes more concentrated, retailers may demand lower pricing and increased promotional programs. Further, should larger retailers increase utilization of their own distribution networks and private label brands, the competitive advantages we derive from our go-to-market systems and brand equity may be eroded. Failure to appropriately respond to any such actions or to offer effective sales incentives and marketing programs to our customers could reduce our ability to secure adequate shelf space at our retailers and adversely affect our financial performance.
Changes in the legal and regulatory environment could limit our business activities, increase our operating costs, reduce demand for our products or result in litigation.
The conduct of our businesses, including the production, distribution, sale, advertising, marketing, labeling, safety, transportation and use of many of our products, are subject to various laws and regulations administered by federal, state and local governmental agencies in the United States, as well as to laws and regulations administered by government entities and agencies outside the United States in markets in which our products are made, manufactured or sold, including in emerging and developing markets where legal and regulatory systems may be less developed. These laws and regulations and interpretations thereof may change, sometimes dramatically, as a result of political, economic or social events. Such changes may include changes in: food and drug laws; laws related to product labeling, advertising and marketing practices; laws regarding the import of ingredients used in our products; laws regarding the export of our products; laws and programs aimed at reducing ingredients present in certain of our products, such as sodium, saturated fat and added sugar; increased regulatory scrutiny of, and increased litigation involving, product claims and concerns regarding the effects on health of ingredients in, or attributes of, certain of our products; state consumer protection laws; taxation requirements, including taxes that would increase the cost of our products to consumers; competition laws; privacy laws; laws regulating the price we may charge for our products; laws regulating access to and use of water or utilities; and environmental laws, including laws relating to the regulation of water rights and treatment. New laws, regulations or governmental policy and their related interpretations, or changes in any of the foregoing, may alter the environment in which we do business and, therefore, may impact our results or increase our costs or liabilities.
Governmental entities or agencies in jurisdictions where we operate may also impose new labeling, product or production requirements, or other restrictions. Studies are underway by third parties to assess the health implications of consumption of carbonated soft drinks as well as certain ingredients present in some of our products. In addition, third-party studies are also underway to assess the effect on humans due to acrylamide in the diet. Acrylamide is a chemical compound naturally formed in a wide variety of foods when they are cooked (whether commercially or at home), including french fries, potato chips, cereal, bread and coffee. Certain of these studies have found that it is probable that acrylamide causes cancer in laboratory animals when consumed in extraordinary amounts. If consumer concerns about the health implications of consumption of carbonated soft drinks, certain ingredients present in some of our products or acrylamide increase as a result of these studies, other new scientific evidence, or for any other reason, whether or not valid, demand for our products could decline and we could be subject to lawsuits or new regulations that could affect sales of our products, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We are also subject to Proposition 65 in California, a law which requires that a specific warning appear on any product sold in California that contains a substance listed by that State as having been found to cause cancer or birth defects. If we were required to add warning labels to any of our products or place warnings in certain locations where our products are sold, sales of those products could suffer not only in those locations but elsewhere.
In many jurisdictions, compliance with competition laws is of special importance to us due to our competitive position in those jurisdictions. Regulatory authorities under whose laws we operate may also have enforcement powers that can subject us to actions such as product recall, seizure of products or other sanctions, which could have an adverse effect on our sales or damage our reputation. Although we have policies and procedures in place that are designed to promote legal and regulatory compliance, our employees or suppliers could take actions that violate these policies and procedures or applicable laws or regulations. Violations of these laws or regulations could subject us to criminal or civil enforcement actions which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
In addition, we and our subsidiaries are party to a variety of legal and environmental remediation obligations arising in the normal course of business, as well as environmental remediation, product liability, toxic tort and related indemnification proceedings in connection with certain historical activities and contractual obligations of businesses acquired by our subsidiaries. Due to regulatory complexities, uncertainties inherent in litigation and the risk of unidentified contaminants on current and former properties of ours and our subsidiaries, the potential exists for remediation, liability and indemnification costs to differ materially from the costs we have estimated. We cannot assure you that our costs in relation to these matters will not exceed our established liabilities or otherwise have an adverse effect on our results of operations. See also "Our financial performance could be adversely affected if we are unable to grow our business in developing and emerging markets or as a result of unstable political conditions, civil unrest or other developments and risks in the markets where our products are sold." above.
If we are not able to build and sustain proper information technology infrastructure, successfully implement our ongoing business transformation initiative or outsource certain functions effectively, our business could suffer.
We depend on information technology as an enabler to improve the effectiveness of our operations, to interface with our customers, to maintain financial accuracy and efficiency, to comply with regulatory financial reporting, legal and tax requirements, and for digital marketing activities and electronic communication among our locations around the world and between our personnel and the personnel of our independent bottlers, contract manufacturers and suppliers. If we do not allocate and effectively manage the resources necessary to build and sustain the proper information technology infrastructure, we could be subject to transaction errors, processing inefficiencies, the loss of customers, business disruptions, the loss of or damage to intellectual property, or the loss of sensitive or confidential data through security breach or otherwise.
We have embarked on multi-year business transformation initiatives to migrate certain of our financial processing systems to enterprise-wide systems solutions. There can be no certainty that these initiatives will deliver the expected benefits. The failure to deliver our goals may impact our ability to (1) process transactions accurately and efficiently and (2) remain in step with the changing needs of the trade, which could result in the loss of customers. In addition, the failure to either deliver the applications on time, or anticipate the necessary readiness and training needs, could lead to business disruption and loss of customers and revenue.
In addition, we have outsourced certain information technology support services and administrative functions, such as payroll processing and benefit plan administration, to third-party service providers and may outsource other functions in the future to achieve cost savings and efficiencies. If the service providers that we outsource these functions to do not perform or do not perform effectively, we may not be able to achieve the expected cost savings and may have to incur additional costs to correct errors made by such service providers. Depending on the function involved, such errors may also lead to business disruption, processing inefficiencies, the loss of or damage to intellectual property through security breach, the loss of sensitive data through security breach or otherwise, litigation, or remediation costs and could have a negative impact on employee morale.
Our information systems could also be penetrated by outside parties intent on extracting confidential information, corrupting information or disrupting business processes. Such unauthorized access could disrupt our business and could result in the loss of assets, litigation, remediation costs, damage to our reputation and loss of revenue resulting from unauthorized use of confidential information or failure to retain or attract customers following such an event.
Fluctuations in exchange rates may have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition.
We hold assets and incur liabilities, earn revenues and pay expenses in a variety of currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Because our consolidated financial statements are presented in U.S. dollars, the financial statements of our subsidiaries outside the United States are translated into U.S. dollars. Our operations outside of the U.S. generate a significant portion of our net revenue. Fluctuations in exchange rates may therefore adversely impact our business results or financial condition. See also "Market Risks" and Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements.
Our operating results may be adversely affected by increased costs, disruption of supply or shortages of raw materials and other supplies.
We and our business partners use various raw materials and other supplies in our business. The principal ingredients we use include apple, orange and pineapple juice and other juice concentrates, aspartame, corn, corn sweeteners, flavorings, flour, grapefruit and other fruits, oats, oranges, potatoes, raw milk, rice, seasonings, sucralose, sugar, vegetable and essential oils, and wheat. Our key packaging materials include plastic resins, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polypropylene resin used for plastic beverage bottles and film packaging used for snack foods, aluminum used for cans, glass bottles, closures, cardboard and paperboard cartons. Fuel and natural gas are also important commodities due to their use in our plants and facilities and in the trucks delivering our products. Some of these raw materials and supplies are sourced internationally and some are available from a limited number of suppliers. We are exposed to the market risks arising from adverse changes in commodity prices, affecting the cost of our raw materials and energy. The raw materials and energy which we use for the production of our products are largely commodities that are subject to price volatility and fluctuations in availability caused by changes in global supply and demand, weather conditions, agricultural uncertainty or governmental controls. We purchase these materials and energy mainly in the open market. If commodity price changes result in unexpected increases in raw materials and energy costs, we may not be able to increase our prices to offset these increased costs without suffering reduced volume, revenue and operating results. In addition, we use derivatives to hedge price risk associated with forecasted purchases of certain raw materials. Certain of these derivatives that do not qualify for hedge accounting treatment can result in increased volatility in our net earnings in any given period due to changes in the spot prices of the underlying commodities. See also "Unfavorable economic conditions may have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition.", "Changes in the legal and regulatory environment could limit our business activities, increase our operating costs, reduce demand for our products or result in litigation.", "Market Risks" and Note 1 to our consolidated financial statements.
Disruption of our supply chain could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our ability, and that of our suppliers, business partners, including our independent bottlers, contract manufacturers, independent distributors and retailers, to make, manufacture, distribute and sell products is critical to our success. Damage or disruption to our or their manufacturing or distribution capabilities due to any of the following could impair our ability to make, manufacture, distribute or sell our products: adverse weather conditions or natural disaster, such as a hurricane, earthquake or flooding; government action; fire; terrorism; the outbreak or escalation of armed hostilities; pandemic; industrial accidents or other occupational health and safety issues; strikes and other labor disputes; or other reasons beyond our control or the control of our suppliers and business partners. Failure to take adequate steps to mitigate the likelihood or potential impact of such events, or to effectively manage such events if they occur, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, as well as require additional resources to restore our supply chain.
Climate change, or legal, regulatory or market measures to address climate change, may negatively affect our business and operations.
There is growing concern that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may have an adverse impact on global temperatures, weather patterns and the frequency and severity of extreme weather and natural disasters. In the event that such climate change has a negative effect on agricultural productivity, we may be subject to decreased availability or less favorable pricing for certain commodities that are necessary for our products, such as sugar cane, corn, wheat, rice, oats, potatoes and various fruits. We may also be subjected to decreased availability or less favorable pricing for water as a result of such change, which could impact our manufacturing and distribution operations. In addition, natural disasters and extreme weather conditions may disrupt the productivity of our facilities or the operation of our supply chain. The increasing concern over climate change also may result in more regional, federal and/or global legal and regulatory requirements to reduce or mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases. In the event that such regulation is enacted and is more aggressive than the sustainability measures that we are currently undertaking to monitor our emissions and improve our energy efficiency, we may experience significant increases in our costs of operation and delivery. In particular, increasing regulation of fuel emissions could substantially increase the distribution and supply chain costs associated with our products. As a result, climate change could negatively affect our business and operations. See also "Changes in the legal and regulatory environment could limit our business activities, increase our operating costs, reduce demand for our products or result in litigation." and "Disruption of our supply chain could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations."
If we are unable to hire or retain key employees or a highly skilled and diverse workforce, it could have a negative impact on our business.
Our continued growth requires us to hire, retain and develop our leadership bench and a highly skilled and diverse workforce. We compete to hire new employees and then must train them and develop their skills and competencies. Any unplanned turnover or our failure to develop an adequate succession plan to backfill current leadership positions, including our Chief Executive Officer, or to hire and retain a diverse workforce could deplete our institutional knowledge base and erode our competitive advantage. In addition, our operating results could be adversely affected by increased costs due to increased competition for employees, higher employee turnover or increased employee benefit costs.
A portion of our workforce belongs to unions. Failure to successfully renew collective bargaining agreements, or strikes or work stoppages could cause our business to suffer.
Many of our employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. These agreements expire on various dates. Strikes or work stoppages and interruptions could occur if we are unable to renew these agreements on satisfactory terms, which could adversely impact our operating results. The terms and conditions of existing or renegotiated agreements could also increase our costs or otherwise affect our ability to fully implement future operational changes to enhance our efficiency.
Failure to successfully complete or integrate acquisitions and joint ventures into our existing operations, or to complete divestitures, could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We regularly evaluate potential acquisitions, joint ventures and divestitures. Potential issues associated with these activities could include, among other things, our ability to realize the full extent of the benefits or cost savings that we expect to realize as a result of the completion of an acquisition or the formation of a joint venture within the anticipated time frame, or at all; receipt of necessary consents, clearances and approvals in connection with an acquisition or joint venture; and diversion of management's attention from base strategies and objectives. In 2011, we acquired Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods OJSC (WBD), a Russian company. We continue to assess WBD's business practices, policies and procedures as well as its compliance with our Worldwide Code of Conduct and applicable laws and, as described under Management's Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting, we are in the process of integrating WBD into our overall internal control over financial reporting processes. With respect to acquisitions, including but not limited to the acquisition of WBD, the following also pose potential risks: our ability to successfully combine our businesses with the business of the acquired company, including integrating the manufacturing, distribution, sales and administrative support activities and information technology systems among our Company and the acquired company and successfully operating in new categories; motivating, recruiting and retaining executives and key employees; conforming standards, controls (including internal control over financial reporting), procedures and policies, business cultures and compensation structures among our Company and the acquired company; consolidating and streamlining corporate and administrative infrastructures; consolidating sales and marketing operations; retaining existing customers and attracting new customers; identifying and eliminating redundant and underperforming operations and assets; coordinating geographically dispersed organizations; and managing tax costs or inefficiencies associated with integrating our operations following completion of the acquisitions. With respect to joint ventures, we share ownership and management responsibility of a company with one or more parties who may or may not have the same goals, strategies, priorities or resources as we do and joint ventures are intended to be operated for the benefit of all co-owners, rather than for our exclusive benefit. In addition, acquisitions and joint ventures outside of the United States increase our exposure to risks associated with operations outside of the United States, including fluctuations in exchange rates and compliance with laws and regulations outside the United States. With respect to divestitures, we may not be able to complete proposed divestitures on terms commercially favorable to us. If an acquisition or joint venture is not successfully completed or integrated into our existing operations, or if a divestiture is not successfully completed, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
Failure to successfully implement our global operating model could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We recently created the Global Beverages Group and the Global Snacks Group, both of which are focused on innovation, research and development, brand management and best-practice sharing around the world, as well as collaborating with our Global Nutrition Group to grow our nutrition portfolio. If we are unable to successfully implement our global operating model, including retention of key employees, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
Failure to realize anticipated benefits from our productivity plan could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are implementing a strategic plan that we believe will position our business for future success and growth, to allow us to achieve a lower cost structure and operate efficiently in the highly competitive food, snack and beverage industries. In order to capitalize on our cost reduction efforts, it will be necessary to make certain investments in our business, which may be limited due to capital constraints. In addition, it is critical that we have the appropriate personnel in place to continue to lead and execute our plan. Our future success and earnings growth depends in part on our ability to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. If we are unable to successfully implement our productivity plan or fail to implement it as timely as we anticipate, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely impacted.
Our borrowing costs and access to capital and credit markets may be adversely affected by a downgrade or potential downgrade of our credit ratings.
Our objective is to maintain credit ratings that provide us with ready access to global capital and credit markets. Any downgrade of our current credit ratings by a credit rating agency, especially any downgrade to below investment grade, could increase our future borrowing costs and impair our ability to access capital and credit markets on terms commercially acceptable to us or at all. In addition, any downgrade of our current short-term credit ratings could impair our ability to access the commercial paper market with the same flexibility that we have experienced historically, and therefore require us to rely more heavily on more expensive types of debt financing. Our borrowing costs and access to the commercial paper market could also be adversely affected if a credit rating agency announces that our ratings are under review for a potential downgrade.
Our intellectual property rights could be infringed or challenged and reduce the value of our products and brands and have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We possess intellectual property rights that are important to our business. These intellectual property rights include ingredient formulas, trademarks, copyrights, patents, business processes and other trade secrets which are important to our business and relate to some of our products, their packaging, the processes for their production and the design and operation of various equipment used in our businesses. We protect our intellectual property rights globally through a combination of trademark, copyright, patent and trade secret laws, third-party assignment and nondisclosure agreements and monitoring of third-party misuses of our intellectual property. If we fail to obtain or adequately protect our ingredient formulas, trademarks, copyrights, patents, business processes and other trade secrets, or if there is a change in law that limits or removes the current legal protections of our intellectual property, the value of our products and brands could be reduced and there could be an adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations. See also "Changes in the legal and regulatory environment could limit our business activities, increase our operating costs, reduce demand for our products or result in litigation."
We are exposed to market risks arising from adverse changes in:
- commodity prices, affecting the cost of our raw materials and energy;
- foreign exchange rates; and
- interest rates.
In the normal course of business, we manage these risks through a variety of strategies, including productivity initiatives, global purchasing programs and hedging strategies. Ongoing productivity initiatives involve the identification and effective implementation of meaningful cost-saving opportunities or efficiencies. Our global purchasing programs include fixed-price purchase orders and pricing agreements. See Note 9 for further information on our non-cancelable purchasing commitments. Our hedging strategies include the use of derivatives. Certain derivatives are designated as either cash flow or fair value hedges and qualify for hedge accounting treatment, while others do not qualify and are marked to market through earnings. Cash flows from derivatives used to manage commodity, foreign exchange or interest risks are classified as operating activities. We do not use derivative instruments for trading or speculative purposes. We perform assessments of our counterparty credit risk regularly, including a review of credit ratings, credit default swap rates and potential nonperformance of the counterparty. Based on our most recent assessment of our counterparty credit risk, we consider this risk to be low. In addition, we enter into derivative contracts with a variety of financial institutions that we believe are creditworthy in order to reduce our concentration of credit risk. See "Unfavorable economic conditions may have an adverse impact on our business results or financial condition."
The fair value of our derivatives fluctuates based on market rates and prices. The sensitivity of our derivatives to these market fluctuations is discussed below. See Note 10 for further discussion of these derivatives and our hedging policies. See "Our Critical Accounting Policies" for a discussion of the exposure of our pension plan assets and pension and retiree medical liabilities to risks related to market fluctuations.
Inflationary, deflationary and recessionary conditions impacting these market risks also impact the demand for and pricing of our products.
We expect to be able to reduce the impact of volatility in our raw material and energy costs through our hedging strategies and ongoing sourcing initiatives. We use derivatives, with terms of no more than three years, to economically hedge price fluctuations related to a portion of our anticipated commodity purchases, primarily for metals, energy and agricultural products.
Our open commodity derivative contracts that qualify for hedge accounting had a face value of $598 million as of December 31, 2011 and $590 million as of December 25, 2010. At the end of 2011, the potential change in fair value of commodity derivative instruments, assuming a 10% decrease in the underlying commodity price, would have increased our net unrealized losses in 2011 by $52 million.
Our open commodity derivative contracts that do not qualify for hedge accounting had a face value of $630 million as of December 31, 2011 and $266 million as of December 25, 2010. At the end of 2011, the potential change in fair value of commodity derivative instruments, assuming a 10% decrease in the underlying commodity price, would have increased our net losses in 2011 by $58 million.
Financial statements of foreign subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars using period-end exchange rates for assets and liabilities and weighted-average exchange rates for revenues and expenses. Adjustments resulting from translating net assets are reported as a separate component of accumulated other comprehensive loss within shareholders' equity under the caption currency translation adjustment.
Our operations outside of the U.S. generate approximately 50% of our net revenue, with Russia, Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom comprising approximately 23% of our net revenue. As a result, we are exposed to foreign currency risks. During 2011, favorable foreign currency contributed 1 percentage point to net revenue growth, primarily due to appreciation of the euro, Canadian dollar and Mexican peso. Currency declines against the U.S. dollar which are not offset could adversely impact our future results.
In addition, we continue to use the official exchange rate to translate the financial statements of our snack and beverage businesses in Venezuela. We use the official rate as we currently intend to remit dividends solely through the government-operated Foreign Exchange Administration Board (CADIVI). As of the beginning of our 2010 fiscal year, the results of our Venezuelan businesses were reported under hyperinflationary accounting. Consequently, the functional currency of our Venezuelan entities was changed from the bolivar fuerte (bolivar) to the U.S. dollar. Effective January 11, 2010, the Venezuelan government devalued the bolivar by resetting the official exchange rate from 2.15 bolivars per dollar to 4.3 bolivars per dollar; however, certain activities were permitted to access an exchange rate of 2.6 bolivars per dollar. We continue to use all available options to obtain U.S. dollars to meet our operational needs. In 2011 and 2010, the majority of our transactions were remeasured at the 4.3 exchange rate, and as a result of the change to hyperinflationary accounting and the devaluation of the bolivar, we recorded a one-time net charge of $120 million in the first quarter of 2010. In 2011 and 2010, our operations in Venezuela comprised 8% and 4% of our cash and cash equivalents balance, respectively, and generated less than 1% of our net revenue. As of January 1, 2011, the Venezuelan government unified the country's two official exchange rates (4.3 and 2.6 bolivars per dollar) by eliminating the 2.6 bolivars per dollar rate, which was previously permitted for certain activities. This change did not have a material impact on our financial statements.
Exchange rate gains or losses related to foreign currency transactions are recognized as transaction gains or losses in our income statement as incurred. We may enter into derivatives, primarily forward contracts with terms of no more than two years, to manage our exposure to foreign currency transaction risk. Our foreign currency derivatives had a total face value of $2.3 billion as of December 31, 2011 and $1.7 billion as of December 25, 2010. At the end of 2011, we estimate that an unfavorable 10% change in the exchange rates would have decreased our net unrealized gains by $105 million. For foreign currency derivatives that do not qualify for hedge accounting treatment, all losses and gains were offset by changes in the underlying hedged items, resulting in no net material impact on earnings.
We centrally manage our debt and investment portfolios considering investment opportunities and risks, tax consequences and overall financing strategies. We use various interest rate derivative instruments including, but not limited to, interest rate swaps, cross-currency interest rate swaps, Treasury locks and swap locks to manage our overall interest expense and foreign exchange risk. These instruments effectively change the interest rate and currency of specific debt issuances. Certain of our fixed rate indebtedness has been swapped to floating rates. The notional amount, interest payment and maturity date of the interest rate and cross-currency swaps match the principal, interest payment and maturity date of the related debt. Our Treasury locks and swap locks are entered into to protect against unfavorable interest rate changes relating to forecasted debt transactions.
Assuming year-end 2011 variable rate debt and investment levels, a 1-percentage-point increase in interest rates would have increased net interest expense by $55 million in 2011.
Risk Management Framework
The achievement of our strategic and operating objectives necessarily involves taking risks. Our risk management process is intended to ensure that risks are taken knowingly and purposefully. As such, we leverage an integrated risk management framework to identify, assess, prioritize, address, manage, monitor and communicate risks across the Company. This framework includes:
- PepsiCo's Board of Directors, which is responsible for overseeing the Company's risk assessment and mitigation, receives updates on key risks throughout the year. The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors helps define PepsiCo's risk management processes and assists the Board in its oversight of strategic, financial, operating, business, compliance, safety, reputational and other risks facing PepsiCo. The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors assists the Board in overseeing potential risks that may be associated with the Company's compensation programs;
- The PepsiCo Risk Committee (PRC), comprised of a cross-functional, geographically diverse, senior management group which meets regularly to identify, assess, prioritize and address our key risks;
- Division Risk Committees (DRCs), comprised of cross-functional senior management teams which meet regularly to identify, assess, prioritize and address division-specific business risks;
- PepsiCo's Risk Management Office, which manages the overall risk management process, provides ongoing guidance, tools and analytical support to the PRC and the DRCs, identifies and assesses potential risks and facilitates ongoing communication between the parties, as well as with PepsiCo's Audit Committee and Board of Directors;
- PepsiCo Corporate Audit, which evaluates the ongoing effectiveness of our key internal controls through periodic audit and review procedures; and
- PepsiCo's Compliance Department, which leads and coordinates our compliance policies and practices.