Ketchup and baked bean giant H J Heinz has reported rise in sales and net income for the second quarter ended 26 October 2005.

Net income was $203.8m, compared with $199m in the same period a year ago. Sales were $2.339bn, compared with $2.200bn the previous year.

Net income from discontinued operations for the second quarter of Fiscal 2006 was $32.0 million, reflecting the resolution of tax liabilities related to the businesses spun-off to Del Monte in Fiscal 2003.

Income from continuing operations before income taxes was $231m, compared with $290m last year.

Special items in the second quarter of Fiscal 2006 totaled $50.9m pretax ($40.2m after tax) and related to previously announced reorganization charges for targeted workforce reductions at various worldwide locations, as well as costs incurred in connection with strategic reviews related to the potential divestiture of several non-core businesses. The special items include a charge recognized by the company related to the sale of Star-Kist Food D'Or in Israel, which had been anticipated during the quarter and occurred subsequently. The company is still projecting to incur net expenses totalling approximately $100m in Fiscal 2006 for reorganization activities, portfolio reviews and costs to integrate acquisitions.

"We are generally pleased with results for the quarter," said chairman, president and CEO William R Johnson. "Volume, operating income and operating free cash flow, all showed solid progress. We achieved these results despite significant cost headwinds and during a period of extensive efforts to reshape the portfolio and streamline our core businesses. We are making good progress on our potential divestitures and will carefully assess offers to ensure good value for our shareholders."