H.J. Heinz expects operating income growth of 14%

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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PITTSBURGH — The H.J. Heinz Co. anticipates first-quarter results that will include operating income growth of 14%, sales growth of about 9% and earnings per share of 62c to 63c. The company will announce its first quarter results on Aug. 24.

Heinz attributed operating income growth to strong sales and productivity improvements. The company also expects its full-year results to be near the high end of the previously announced earnings range of $2.54 to $2.60, which represents a growth rate of 8% to 9%.

"We have robust new product pipelines across our developed markets as we enter fiscal 2008, and we plan to continue supporting our product launches with substantially increased marketing investments," said William R. Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "In fact, we plan to increase the marketing spending behind our key brands by an additional $100 million over the two years — fiscal ’07 and fiscal ’08 — while continuing to grow R.&D. investments at a double-digit rate."

At the annual shareholders meeting of the H.J. Heinz Co., Mr. Johnson called fiscal year 2007 "excellent" and said the company experienced international growth and focused on the three categories of ketchup and sauces; meals and snacks; and infant nutrition.

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