Kellogg earnings up 6%

by Josh Sosland
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BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — Net income at Kellogg Co. in the third quarter ended Oct. 3 was $360 million, equal to 94c per share on the common stock, up 6% from $341 million, or 90c in the third quarter last year. Net sales were $3,277 million, nearly unchanged from $3,288 million.

Kellogg said earnings growth was 12% on a currency-neutral basis in the third quarter, and sales were up 3%, excluding the effects of foreign currency translation and acquisitions.

The company raised its earnings guidance for 2009 to 10% to 12%, on a currency neutral basis, up from 8% to 10%. For 2010, the company projected currency-neutral earnings growth of 10% to 12%, a "second consecutive year of growth above long-term annual targets," the company said.

"The current economic environment has placed significant pressure on our consumers," said David Mackay, chief executive officer. "However, the environment also provided us with both the incentive and the opportunity to build an even stronger company for the future. We are aggressively pursuing productivity initiatives as well as taking advantages of media deflation and efficiency programs to invest even more back into advertising to future drive the long-term health of our brands."

In the nine months ended Oct. 3, net income was $1,032 million, equal to $2.71 per share, up 7% from $968 million, or $2.54 per share. Net sales were $9,675 million, down 2%.

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