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Kellogg Company Reports Earnings Per Share At The High End Of Guidance For 2012 And Reaffirms Guidance For 2013 Growth

Kellogg International's full-year reported operating profit decreased by 14.2 percent and internal operating profit decreased by 16.4 percent. Kellogg International's fourth quarter reported operating profit declined by 4.7 percent and internal profit declined by 21.9 percent. Latin America's internal operating profit increased by 19.7 percent in the fourth quarter due to strong sales growth and a relatively easier comparison to the fourth quarter of last year; included in the growth was the impact of higher commodity costs. Europe's fourth-quarter internal operating profit decreased by 7.7 percent due to significant cost inflation and a continued difficult operating environment.  Asia Pacific's internal operating profit decreased by 72.3 percent in the fourth quarter as the result of up-front costs associated with the closure of a plant in Australia, a double-digit increase in the rate of investment in brand building, and increased cost inflation.

Interest and Tax

Kellogg's interest expense totaled $66 million in the fourth quarter and was $261 million for the year. Including the impact of the change in accounting for pension and post-retirement benefit plans, the reported effective tax rate was 53 percent for the fourth quarter and 27.4 percent for the full year.  Excluding the mark-to-market adjustment, the effective tax rate was 28.9 percent for the year, consistent with guidance.

Cash flow

Cash flow, a non-GAAP measure defined as cash from operating activities less capital expenditures, was slightly more than $1.2 billion for the full year.  Kellogg repurchased approximately $63 million of shares during the year, all in the first quarter.    

Kellogg Updates 2013 Earnings Guidance

The Company reaffirmed its guidance for reported net sales growth, which is expected to increase by approximately seven percent in 2013. Kellogg expects full-year reported operating profit to increase at a rate slightly faster than the rate of earnings-per-share growth. Full-year reported earnings per share are anticipated to grow between five and seven percent. Guidance for both operating profit and earnings per share excludes the impact of mark-to-market adjustments. Cash flow is expected to be in a range between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion.

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