PITTSBURGH — With the help of double-digit sales growth in North America and Europe and significant sales growth in emerging markets and in the infant/nutrition category, the H.J. Heinz Co. posted a 12% increase in net income for the quarter ended July 30.
For the first quarter, Heinz had income of $228,964,000, equal to 73c per share on the common stock, up from $205,294,000, or 64c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $2,583,208,000, up 15% from $2,248,285,000 in the same quarter of the previous year.
"Heinz is off to a strong start in the fiscal year with excellent growth in first-quarter sales, operating income and e.p.s.," said William R. Johnson, chief executive officer. "We achieved record organic sales growth, reflecting the strength of our top 15 brands, dynamic growth in our emerging markets, higher marketing investments and benefits from increased focus on products for healthier lifestyles."
Operating income for the North American Consumer Products segment was $168,108,000, up 10% from $152,410,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $741,182,000, up 12% from $664,672,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.
For the U.S. Foodservice segment, the company posted operating income of $24,940,000, down 43% from $43,549,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $353,413,000, down 3% from $363,668,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.
Heinz also raised its fiscal 2009 e.p.s. prediction to the upper half of the previously announced range of $2.83 to $2.91. The new range is $2.87 to $2.91.
"As our strong performance in the first quarter demonstrates, Heinz is on track to deliver another year of impressive growth," Mr. Johnson said.