Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Kraft third-quarter profits up 22%

Cadbury owner Kraft Foods beat analyst expectations for the third quarter as profits rose 22 per cent
Cadbury owner Kraft Foods beat analyst expectations for the third quarter as profits rose 22 per cent

Third-quarter profits at Kraft Foods have jumped 22% as higher prices helped offset increased costs for the food maker.

The company reported that it earned 922 million US dollars (£578 million), or 52 cents per share, for the quarter that ended September 30. That is up from 754 million US dollars (£473 million), or 43 cents per share, last year.

After adjusting for integration costs related to its acquisition of Cadbury, the company earned 58 cents per share versus 47 cents per share in the prior period.

Kraft's revenue rose nearly 12% to 13.23 billion US dollars (£8.3 billion).

The results beat analyst expectations for the quarter.

Kraft also raised its full-year outlook. It now expects to earn 2.27 US dollars (£1.42) per share, in line with analyst expectations and up from its prior forecast of 2.25 US dollars (£1.41) per share. Revenue is expected to increase 6%, up from its prior forecast of a 5% increase.

The food industry is facing several challenges in today's climate, including higher costs for ingredients and limited spending by consumers.

Kraft is in the process of splitting its business into two publicly traded companies.

One will focus on its international snack brands such as Trident gum and Cadbury chocolates while the other will concentrate on its North American grocery business that includes Maxwell House coffee and Oscar Mayer meats.

The company expects the split to be complete before the end of next year. It is one of a string of US companies to divide its business to cater to different niche markets as a means to deliver growth for investors.

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