US: PepsiCo Q4 and full year sales grow strongly
PepsiCo has predicted further net revenue growth as it releases fourth quarter and full year results for its Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods subsidiaries.
The company announced strong fourth quarter growth across all its businesses - with global servings volume increasing more than 9% and net revenue up 15%. However, the results include an extra reporting week in 2005. Excluding the extra-week impact, volume increased more than 7% and net revenue was up 10%.
Earnings of US$0.65 per share grew 13%, compared to $0.58 per share in the corresponding fourth quarter last year. The extra-week earnings benefit in the quarter of $0.03 per share was offset by the impact of the company's previously announced restructuring actions.
Servings volume grew 7% and net revenue was up 11% for the full year, with the extra reporting week contributing approximately one point of growth. Earnings per share for the full year were $2.39, including the extra reporting week.
PepsiCo chairman and CEO Steve Reinemund said: "We're very pleased with the results for the quarter and for the full year. Our top line has shown consistently strong growth throughout the year, and earnings were strong despite a challenging input cost environment. Importantly, we've made investments in the marketplace and in productivity that, together with our top-line momentum, gives us confidence as we enter 2006."
For the quarter and the full year, the group's Frito-Lay North America (FLNA) snack division experienced strong growth in products such as Lay's, Tostitos, Cheetos and Santitas. With the extra reporting week, net sales and operating profit showed growth.
PepsiCo's Quaker Foods group's fourth quarter and full year volume growth was driven by oatmeal, Aunt Jemima syrups and mixes, Rice-A-Roni and Pasta Roni side dishes. In the fourth quarter, net revenue benefited from the volume growth and effective net pricing, but operating profit growth lagged net revenue growth due to increased advertising and marketing expense and higher raw material costs.
PepsiCo's outlook for 2006 foresees mid-single-digit volume and net revenue growth, with revenue growth outpacing volume growth, and EPS of at least $2.93 per share. Cash provided by operating activities in 2006 is expected to exceed $6.2bn, and assumes a pension contribution of approximately $250m during the year.
The food and drinks company anticipates spending approximately $2.2bn in net capital, approximately $3bn in share repurchases. PepsiCo anticipates capital spending to return to the long-term targeted rate following 2006.
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