Emerging markets boost Heinz earnings

by Staff
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PITTSBURGH — Boosted by strength in emerging markets, the H.J. Heinz Co. saw income rise 13% during the quarter ended July 28.

The company had first-quarter income of $240,427,000, equal to 76c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $212,564,000, or 67c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $2,480,825,000, up 2% from $2,441,685,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

“I am pleased with our strong first-quarter results, which were led by continued momentum in emerging markets and good results in North American Consumer Products,” said William R. Johnson, president and chief executive officer. “Emerging markets accounted for a record 18% of the company’s total sales. Globally, Heinz delivered strong organic sales growth in a difficult economic environment, including 8% growth in ketchup and almost 6% growth in our top 15 brands. We continued to invest in innovation and marketing as the company delivered our 21st consecutive quarter of organic sales growth.”

In the North American Consumer Products segment, the company had an operating income of $191,080,000, up 4% from $184,205,000 during the same period of the previous year. The segment had sales of $761,812,000, up 5% from $727,242,000 during the same period of the previous year.

The company also reaffirmed its full-year fiscal 2011 guidance of sales growth of 3% to 4%, operating income growth of 7% to 10% and growth of 7% to 10% in earnings per share.

“Heinz is off to a good start in fiscal 2011, and we remain confident about the company’s business fundamentals despite the difficult economic climate,” Mr. Johnson said. “While we anticipate that our full-year results will be impacted by foreign currency movements, we plan to continue executing our well-established strategy to grow our core portfolio, accelerate growth in emerging markets, strengthen and leverage global scale and make talent an advantage for Heinz.”
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