Heinz plans to beef up sales across channels

PITTSBURGH The H.J. Heinz Co. recently made public plans to release about 400 new products over the next two years. The company also said that it plans to pump around $100 million into a new marketing plan to grow business.

Currently, the ketchup maker produces over 11 billion packets and 650 million bottles of ketchup per year. But in recent years, the company has grown its portfolio to also cover food products produced under brand names like Bagel-Bites, Ore-Ida, Smart Ones and Weight Watchers. To strengthen its core it will stretch further into health and wellness, the company has said.

According to reports posted by The Motley Fool, in the fourth quarter, Heinz’s overall sales increased 11.3 percent to $2.7 billion. The company’s profits rose 7.2 percent from the same time in 2007.

More than half of the company’s revenue comes from international sales and in that avenue Heinz saw greater growth. However, sales in the United States remained fairly level, though there was a 10 percent increase in U.S. consumer-product sales. The company’s dividend was increased to $0.415 per share, or 9 percent. Heinz stock has hit a remarkable $50 per share—up to the highest price in about a decade.

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