News Column

Heinz reports second quarter profit of $126.7 million

August 12, 2014

By Teresa F. Lindeman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Aug. 12--The H.J. Heinz Co. reported a profit of $126.7 million in the second quarter, compared to a net loss of $123.9 million during the comparable period a year earlier, in a regulatory filing today.

The Pittsburgh food company, which was acquired in June 2013 by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital, said total sales of $2.73 billion for the three months ending June 29 were off from the $2.85 billion during the comparable period a year earlier.

"Heinz remains on track to deliver our goals for 2014. Cost savings allow the company to increase investment in our brands and accelerate innovation, while discontinuing unprofitable sales," said Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs, in an email.

"We are committed to driving efficiencies that will strengthen our business, while continuing our relentless focus on quality and safety, always putting the consumer first."

Heinz said sales took a small hit from divestitures, while volume dropped through a combination of factors, including U.S. sales shifted into the first quarter, softness in the frozen meals and snacks business in the U.S. and slow soup sales in the U.K.

Net profit continued to take a hit from restructuring-related costs, as it had in earlier quarters, but the company reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 35.2 percent to $693 million. That, Heinz said, reflected a drop in the cost of products sold as well as efficiencies achieved through productivity initiatives.

As of June 29, the company said its initiatives have reduced its payroll by about 3,800 corporate and field positions across its global operations. That doesn't include the planned closure of five factories in the U.S. and Europe, which will trim 1,600 jobs. About 1,200 of those employees had left by June 29.

Teresa F. Lindeman: or at 412-263-2018.


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Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)

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