Tags: US | Earns | HJ | Heinz

Heinz Profit Falls Despite 13 Percent Sales Jump

Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 10:03 AM

Food maker H.J. Heinz Co. said growth in emerging markets helped its fiscal third-quarter revenue rise 13 percent. But profit fell 6 percent on costs associated with selling two businesses.

Heinz, known for its namesake ketchup, said profit fell to $228.5 million, or 72 cents per share, from $242.3 million, or 76 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, predicted a profit of 77 cents per share.

Excluding costs related to sellling two businesses, profit from continuing operations totaled 83 cents per share, from 76 cents per share last year. That's a penny above the guidance the company gave last week.

Heinz sold a frozen hors d'oeuvres business in the U.S. and a private-label frozen desserts business in the U.K.

Revenue rose 13 percent to $2.68 billion, from $2.38 billion last year. Analysts expected revenue of $2.66 billion.

Results were helped by a 41 percent sales jump in Asia Pacific as well as growth in Europe.

In the U.S., sales rose 7 percent to $815 million, helped by new product introductions and price increases introduced last year, when commodity costs were higher.

Heinz, like many food companies, benefited from the recession as consumers ate at home more often. But sales growth in the U.S. has been slowing, and Heinz is now building on growth in emerging markets to offset that.

Emerging market growth was driven by higher sales of nutritional drinks Complan and Glucon D in India, ABC brand sauces and drinks in Indonesia and Heinz ketchup in Russia.

Heinz backed its full-year earnings outlook of $2.82 to $2.85 per share from continuing operations. Analysts expect a profit of $2.84 per share.

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