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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 12, December 2011, Posted On: 11/10/2011

Kraft Q3 Earnings Rise 22%

Emily Jed
Kraft Foods, Kraft Vending & OCS, vending machine, office coffee service, Kraft third quarter, food ingredient prices, packaging costs

NORTHFIELD, IL -- Kraft Foods saw net profit rise 22% during the third quarter, helped by price hikes to compensate for higher ingredient and packaging costs.

The Northfield, IL, food giant posted third-quarter earnings of $922 million, or 52¢ a share, up from $754 million, or 43¢ per share a year earlier. Revenue during the quarter grew 12% to $13.23 billion.

Kraft said revenue increased across all of its markets behind higher prices and stronger sales of its core products, including Oreo cookies and Trident gum.

In North America, revenue rose 4.4% as new products and higher prices offset soft sales volume. In Europe, Kraft's revenue rose more than 16%, helped by higher coffee prices and stronger sales volume. Revenue soared 20% in developing markets, including India and Brazil.

The company raised its full-year profit forecast based on these results. It now expects to earn $2.27 per share, up from its prior forecast of $2.25 per share. Revenue is expected to increase 6%, up from its prior forecast of a 5% increase.

Kraft said it has price increases planned for the fourth quarter to help offset anticipated higher commodity costs.

The company is in the process of splitting its business into a $16 billion North American grocery business, and a $32 billion global snacks business. It announced in its third-quarter report that the North American grocery business will be called Kraft Food and the name for the global snacking unit will be up to a shareholder vote next year. The deal is expected to be complete at the end of next year.

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