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Heinz Reports Double-Digit EPS Growth To $0.90 From Continuing Operations; Reaffirms Previously Announced Fiscal 2013 Full-Year Sales And Profit Outlook

Stocks in this article: HNZ

H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) today reported solid second-quarter results, with growth of 11.1% in earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding charges for productivity initiatives in Fiscal 2012). The results were fueled by dynamic growth in Emerging Markets, continued growth in Global Ketchup and the Company's Top 15 Brands, and a favorable tax rate. This enabled Heinz to significantly increase investment in marketing and global capabilities to drive future growth.

“Heinz delivered solid results while making significant investments in our businesses and brands to drive growth,” said Chairman, President and CEO William R. Johnson. “Notably, Heinz delivered its 30 th consecutive quarter of organic sales growth, led by our trio of growth engines: Emerging Markets, Global Ketchup and the Company's Top 15 Brands.”

Second-Quarter Results - Continuing Operations

In the second quarter ended October 28, 2012, reported sales increased 0.5% to $2.83 billion, with unfavorable foreign currency impacting sales by 2.4%. Net pricing increased 1.9% and volume grew 1.4%. Divestitures reduced total sales by 0.4%.

Heinz delivered organic sales growth of 3.3%, led by Emerging Markets, which posted organic sales growth of 13.2% for the quarter (10.3% reported). Organic sales growth was again impacted by prior-year decisions to exit T.G.I. Friday's ® frozen meals and downsize the Long Fong ® frozen business in China. Emerging Markets represented 23% of total Company sales.

The Company's Top 15 Brands achieved organic sales growth of 4.6% (1.7% reported), led by Heinz ®, Quero ®, ABC ®, Classico ®, Golden Circle ®, Master ® and Ore-Ida ® brands. Global Ketchup delivered organic sales growth of 5.0% (3.8% on a reported basis), driven by strong performance in the U.S., Brazil and Russia.

Gross profit of $1.01 billion grew 4.7% and gross margin increased 140 basis points to 35.8%. Excluding charges for productivity initiatives in Fiscal 2012, gross profit increased 1.8% and gross margin increased 40 basis points, despite a $22 million unfavorable impact from foreign exchange and higher commodity costs.

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