Heinz gains in earnings for 2008

PITTSBURGH H.J. Heinz Co. today reported sales growth in fiscal 2008 and an increase in earning. Sales surpassed $10 billion for the first time ever, the company said. Earnings have risen by 11 percent per share, up to $2.63 from $2.38 in the last year, and annual sales rose 12 percent to $10.1 billion.

Heinz branded products saw an increase of 14 percent and Weight Watchers and Weight Watchers Smart Ones brands, rose by 26 percent growth and 25 percent in emerging markets, respectively.

“Heinz once again delivered exceptional financial results in FY08 as we significantly increased sales, profits and operating free cash flow while also increasing marketing by 15 percent and introducing more than 200 new products,” chairman, president and chief executive officer, William Johnson said.

Heinz also reported an 8.5 percent increase in operating income to $1.57 billion. Heinz attributes the rise to increases in product volume, better pricing and productivity, and good exchange rates in foreign currencies. The company said that year-long net income increased 7 percent to $845 million for continuing operations.

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