Kellogg first-quarter earnings climb 30%

by Keith Nunes
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BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — Net income at The Kellogg Co. in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 ended April 3 rose to $418 million, equal to $1.10 per share on the common stock, up 30% from $321 million, or 84c per share, in the same period a year ago.

Sales totaled $3,318 million during the quarter, an increase over the $3,169 million in sales during the same period of 2009.

The company’s North American business unit saw its operating profit increase 23% to $495 million. Net sales for North America were $2,275 million. The company said increased competition in the cereal category and the lapping of a strong first quarter in 2009 led to a half of a per cent of internal sales growth for its Cereal business. Retail Snacks posted internal sales growth of 5% while sales within the company’s North America Frozen and Specialty Channels businesses declined 3% due to a disruption in the supply of its Eggo branded products.

Sales within Kellogg’s International division increased 9% on a consolidated basis, according to the company. The division’s first-quarter operating profit also increased 9%.

The company’s board of directors also authorized a $2.5 billion three-year share repurchase program from 2010 to 2012.
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