updated 5/25/2004 8:40:35 AM ET 2004-05-25T12:40:35

H.J. Heinz Co. reported sharply higher profits for its fourth fiscal quarter as a weak dollar aided sales internationally.

The food maker said Tuesday it earned $196.5 million, or 55 cents per share, in the three months ended April 30 compared with $102.6 million, or 29 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Excluding one-time charges, earnings per share were 58 cents per share, matching the forecast of analysts polled by Thomson First Call.

Revenues were up more than 6 percent to $2.33 billion for the quarter from $2.19 billion a year earlier as the dollar's weakness continues to boost the impact of overseas sales.

Heinz said the company saw weakness in its frozen food sales with dieters trending toward foods with fewer carbohydrates.

For the fiscal year, the Pittsburgh-based company had a net income of $804.3 million, or $2.27 million per share, compared with $566.3 million, or $1.60 per share, in 2003.

Full-year revenue rose to $8.41 billion from $8.24 billion a year earlier.

"Heinz's fourth quarter capped off a successful fiscal year in which it achieved key sales, cash and earnings objectives," William Johnson, president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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