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H.J. Heinz quarterly earnings rise

Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co. on Tuesday said quarterly earnings rose, as it rolled out a host of new products and eliminated some unprofitable ones as it reinvigorated sluggish areas such as frozen foods.
/ Source: Reuters

Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co. on Tuesday said quarterly earnings rose, as it rolled out a host of new products and eliminated some unprofitable ones as it reinvigorated sluggish areas such as frozen foods.

The Pittsburgh-based company said it earned $202.2 million, or 57 cents a share, in its fiscal third quarter ended Jan. 28, compared with $151.6 million, or 43 cents, in the year-ago period.

Prior year results include earnings from discontinued operations that were spun off in December 2002 to canned foods processor Del Monte Foods Co. Earnings from continuing operations in last year's quarter were 54 cents a share, excluding some special items.

Analysts had expected Heinz to earn 57 cents a share in the most recent quarter, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.

Last week, Heinz narrowed its outlook for 2004 earnings to a range of $2.19 to $2.21 a share from an earlier range of $2.15 to $2.25 a share. The company said it is on track to achieve those results.

Quarterly revenue fell to $2.10 billion from $2.11 billion.