PITTSBURGH — Strength in emerging markets, higher volume and pricing, improved productivity and a favorable tax rate all contributed to a 14% increase in income at the H.J. Heinz Co. during the first quarter.
For the quarter ended July 29, the company had an income of $258,027,000, equal to 81c per share on the common stock, which compared with $226,114,000, or 70c per share, in the same period a year ago. Sales for the quarter were $2,791,224,000, down 1% from $2,832,598.000 during the same quarter of the previous year.
“Heinz delivered strong results and our 29th consecutive quarter of organic sales growth despite the difficult economic environment, higher commodity costs and headwinds from foreign currency,” said William R. Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Heinz is off to a good start in fiscal 2013, led by our trio of growth engines — emerging markets, global ketchup and our top 15 brands.”
Operating income for the North American Consumer Products segment was $183,431,000, down 4% from $190,778,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Net external sales for the segment were $758,852,000, down 2% from $774,621,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.
For the full-year 2013, the company expects at least 4% organic sales growth, constant currency earnings per share growth of 5% to 8% on a continuing basis excluding special items in 2012, and a strong operating free cash flow of more than $1 billion.