With charges, Heinz income off 6% in quarter

by Staff
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PITTSBURGH — Net income at the H.J. Heinz Co. in the first quarter ended July 27 was $226,114,000, equal to 70c per share on the common stock, down 6% from $240,427,000, or 75c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. First-quarter sales were $2,849,581,000, up 15% from $2,480,825,000 during the first quarter of the previous year.

During the quarter Heinz recorded charges of $41 million pre-tax for costs associated with the closing of four factories as well as other productivity initiatives. Excluding the special charges, Heinz net income was up 6% in the quarter.

“Emerging markets generated a record 23% of sales in the first quarter, up from 18% a year ago,” said William R. Johnson, president and chief executive officer. “Our strategy to accelerate growth in emerging markets organically and through acquisitions in countries with fast-growing populations helped Heinz deliver strong top-line growth and solid operating results despite the economic downturn in developed markets. Heinz also drove strong growth in global ketchup and our top 15 brands by focusing on value-added consumer innovation and new product development.”

The North American Consumer products segment had operating income of $190,778,000, down slightly from $191,080,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had net external sales of $774,621,000, up 2% from $761,812,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

For the full-year 2012, the company expects constant currency earnings per share of $3.24 to $3.32, excluding the impact of one-time productivity initiatives.

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