Brands rule at Heinz

Strong sales of the top 15 brands at H.J. Heinz enabled the company to produce its 30th consecutive quarter of organic sales growth, the company announced Tuesday.

The company's top 15 brands collectively produced organic sales growth of 4.6%, led by Heinz, Quero, ABC, Classico, Golden Circle, Master and Ore-Ida brands. Global Ketchup delivered organic sales growth of 5% thanks to a strong performance in U.S., Brazil and Russia.

"Heinz delivered solid results while making significant investments in our businesses and brands to drive growth," said Chairman, President and CEO William R. Johnson. "Notably, Heinz delivered its 30th consecutive quarter of organic sales growth, led by our trio of growth engines: Emerging Markets, Global Ketchup and the Company's Top 15 Brands."

Although total sales advanced a nominal .5% to $2.83 billion during the second quarter ended October 28, earnings per share increased 11.1%, including charges for productivity initiatives, to 90 cents. Excluding the charges earnings grew 22.3%.

The company’s stable of powerful brands helped produce strong growth in emerging markets where sales increased 13.2% and now account for 23% of the company’s total sales.

"Heinz remains on track to deliver our previously announced sales and profit outlook for Fiscal 2013," Johnson said. The company expects to produce full year sales growth of 4%, earnings per share growth between 5% and 8% and free cash flow of more than $1 billion.

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