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H.J. Heinz

(HNZ)

said second-quarter profit fell 9.7%, short of analysts' estimates, because of the spinoff of certain assets a year ago.

The Pittsburgh-based ketchup giant said net income fell to $191.5 million, or 54 cents a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 29, vs. $212.1 million, or 60 cents a share a year ago. The Thomson First Call consensus estimate was 55 cents a share. Revenue also fell to $2.09 billion, from $2.10 billion.

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Profit from continuing operations, excluding the spun-off business units, was up 13% from earnings of $168.5 million, or 48 cents per share, in the prior-year period. In 2002, Heinz spun off several food units, which were later merged with

Del Monte Foods

.

The company cited its improved focus on international operations, especially its rapidly growing Asia-Pacific business. Sales rose 7.7% in the period, partly because of the weaker dollar, while its gross profit margin increased 150 basis points to 37.4%.

Heinz shares lost 12 cents to $35.67 Monday.