Kraft Profit Climbs, Forecasts Growth This Year


Published February 21, 2012

| FOXBusiness

Kraft (KFT) revealed a 54% improvement in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday as it continues to cut costs and focus on profitable brands ahead of its planned split.

The Northfield, Ill.-based company, which is preparing separate into two companies later this year -- North American grocery and global snacks -- expects to grow revenue by about 5% and improve earnings by 9% in 2012.

As part of the restructure, it will take a one-time $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion hit later this year.

The company, whose snack business makes Cadbury chocolate and Oreo cookies, and grocery business makes Maxwell House coffee and Oscar Mayer hot dogs, earned $830 million, or 47 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $540 million, or 31 cents.

Excluding one-time items, it made 57 cents, matching the Street’s view.

Revenue for the three-month period was $14.69 billion, up 6.6% from $13.77 billion a year ago, missing average analyst estimates of $14.79 in a Thomson Reuters poll.

"We delivered terrific results in 2011, and our businesses are healthier than ever due to the disciplined execution of our strategy," Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld said in a statement.

With improved sales and continued focus on cost management, operating income in North America and Europe continued to climb. Sales in developing markets also grew.