H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) today reported second-quarter sales growth of 8.3% and earnings per share of $0.81 before special items ($0.73 reported), led by double-digit organic sales growth and acquisitions in Emerging Markets and strong growth in Global Ketchup. Sales were also driven by organic growth in the Company’s Top 15 brands.
Heinz is launching convenient new sizes of its iconic sauces and condiments and Ore-Ida(R) French fries at suggested retail prices ranging from 99 cents to $1.99 to meet the needs of U.S. consumers with tight grocery budgets. (Photo: Business Wire)Heinz Chairman, President and CEO William R. Johnson said: “Led by our trio of growth engines – Emerging Markets, Global Ketchup and our Top 15 brands – reported sales grew more than 8 percent and Heinz delivered organic sales growth for the 26 th consecutive quarter despite the challenging economic environment in Developed Markets, especially in Australia and U.S. Foodservice. Overall, we saw a combination of continued strength in Emerging Markets, the U.K. and much of Europe, and mixed results in other developed markets, where consumer confidence fell to its lowest level in 30 years.” Sales in the quarter ended October 26, 2011 grew to $2.83 billion, fueled by Emerging Markets, which delivered 15.8% organic sales growth (50.3% reported). The acquisitions of the Quero ® brand in Brazil and the Foodstar business in China increased total Company sales by 5.0% as they continued to perform well. Globally, ketchup delivered 6.5% organic sales growth (8.9% reported), propelled by pricing across the Company’s markets as well as higher volume in Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Company’s Top 15 brands delivered 3.0% organic sales growth (12.3% reported), led by Heinz ® brand products, Complan ® nutritional beverages in India, ABC ® soy and chili sauces in Indonesia, and T.G.I. Friday’s ® frozen meals in the U.S. Overall, the Company's organic sales growth of 1.5% reflected a 4.4% increase in net pricing, partially offset by a 2.9% volume decline. Acquisitions, net of divestitures, increased reported sales by 4.4%. Favorable foreign exchange translation rates increased sales by 2.4%.