Tags: US | Earns | Kellogg

Kellogg's Profit Rises on Cost Cuts, Higher Snack Sales

Thursday, 29 Apr 2010 08:36 AM

Cost-cutting and higher revenue from snacks boosted food maker Kellogg Co.'s fiscal first-quarter profit 30 percent, the company said Thursday.

The maker of Frosted Flakes cereal, Pop Tarts and other popular foods said profit rose to $418 million, or $1.09 per share, during the three months that ended April 3. That compares with $321 million, or 84 cents per share a year ago.

The results beat the average forecast for profit of 94 cents per share from analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $3.32 billion from $3.17 billion. North American revenue rose 3 percent, helped by higher retail snacks sales.

But sales of frozen and specialty snack revenue in North America fell 3 percent, hurt by a disruption in production of Eggo waffles after storms closed an Atlanta factory and repair work indefinitely closed several lines at a Tennessee plant.

International sales rose 9 percent, including increases in North America and Asia Pacific but a drop in Latin America as a supply disruption in Brazil due to rain damage offset a revenue increase in Mexico.

The company reaffirmed its forecast that its full-year profit would rise 11 percent to 13 percent, excluding any effect of the dollar's strength or weakness. It expects sales to rise 2 percent to 3 percent.

Kellogg also said it will start a $2.5 billion three-year share repurchase program. Such buybacks typically aim to boost a company's stock price.

Revenue growth is slowing for many food makers after a period of major growth during the recession, when consumers started eating at home more to save money. Kellogg has cut costs and boosted ad spending to offset this.

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