updated 9/8/2010 5:45:32 AM ET 2010-09-08T09:45:32

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 7, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diamond Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq:DMND) today announced an increase in its long-term growth and profitability targets. Speaking at the 2010 Barclay's Back to School Consumer Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, Chairman, President and CEO Michael J. Mendes said, "Over the next five years, we expect to drive strong earnings through top line growth, increasing scale and expanding margins. As a result, over this period we expect average annual growth in net income of 20 percent per year and E.P.S. of 15 – 20 percent per year."

Mr. Mendes, along with Chief Financial Officer Steven M. Neil and Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Burke, detailed the company's expectations on how innovative new products, focused investment in its brands, increased distribution and strategic acquisitions would result in 8 – 10 percent compound annual sales growth over the next five years. This growth, combined with steps taken to further optimize the product portfolio and leverage scale in the channels the company serves, would boost operating margins to a range of 13 – 15 percent by fiscal 2015.

Mr. Burke also highlighted the company's plan to continue its tradition of innovative Super Bowl promotions with "Snack Bowl XLV", featuring the company's Emerald, Kettle and Pop Secret snack brands.

"Our strategy of investing in our brands has increased the scale and equity of our snack portfolio," added Mendes. "As a result, we believe that we can average between 15 and 20 percent snack sales growth over the next five years." 

A copy of the presentation is available on the Company's website www.diamondfoods.com under "Investor Relations", followed by "News and Events" and "Presentation Archive."

Note regarding forward-looking statements

This release contains forward-looking statements as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including projections of Diamond's results. The words "anticipate," "expect," "believe," "goal," "plan," "intend," "estimate," "may," "will," "would" and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.  Forward-looking statements necessarily depend on assumptions, data or methods that may be incorrect or imprecise and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from projections made in this release. Some factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations include risks of integrating acquired businesses and entering markets in which we have limited experience, availability and pricing of raw materials, loss of key customers and an increase in competition. A more extensive list of factors that could materially affect our results can be found in Diamond's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They are available publicly and on request from Diamond's Investor Relations Department. 

About Diamond

Diamond Foods  is a high-growth innovative packaged food company focused on building, acquiring and energizing brands including Kettle® Chips, Emerald ® snack nuts, Pop Secret ® popcorn, and Diamond of California ® culinary and snack nuts. The Company's products are distributed in a wide range of stores where snacks and culinary nuts are sold.

The Diamond Foods, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6112 

Corporate Web Site: www.diamondfoods.com

Consumer Web Sites:  www.kettlefoods.com , www.kettlefoods.co.uk , www.emeraldnuts.com , www.popsecret.com , www.diamondnuts.com , www.feedyourfingers.com , and www.underdogbracket.com

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