Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co. Tuesday reported a 9 percent drop in quarterly profit after spinning off some brands, but demand for new items like Ore-Ida Extra Crispy fries helped to boost sales.
The Pittsburgh-based company said it earned $194.8 million, or 55 cents per share, in the first quarter ended July 28, compared with $214.0 million, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier, including profits from units spun off to Del Monte Foods Co.
Analysts on average expected 55 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Heinz spun off several of its brands, including its tuna, pet and baby food divisions, to canned foods processor Del Monte. Excluding profits from those brands, first-quarter earnings rose 7.8 percent from the prior year’s $179.8 million, or 51 cents per share.
Quarterly sales rose to $2 billion from $1.9 billion a year earlier, helped by demand for new products including Ore-Ida Extra Crispy and Easy Fries.
The food company said its first-quarter earnings were “in line” with its full-year targets of $2.32 to $2.42 in earnings per share and $800 million to $1 billion in free cash flow.