• Reported sales and profits down in Q1
  • Project K among costs that weighed on earnings
  • Underlying net profit up

Kellogg today (5 May) reported lower underlying net sales and operating profit for the first quarter of 2015 – but CEO John Bryant claimed the trend behind the US food group's top line was improving.

The Frosties and Pringles owner posted a 0.3% fall in currency-neutral comparable net sales – which excludes the impact of foreign exchange and other factors like M&A – to US$3.73bn for the quarter to 4 April.

On a reported basis, net sales dropped 5% to $3.56bn. Currency-neutral comparable net sales from Kellogg's US morning foods arm fell 2.9%, although the company said the result included "improved trends in the cereal business".

Currency-neutral comparable operating profit was down 1.9% at $548m. Reported operating profit tumbled 37.5% to $384m, hit by mark-to-market costs and charges from Kellogg's Project K restructuring programme.

The company's bottom line showed similar dynamics, with reported net income down 44% at $227m but the underlying figure rising 0.9% to $370m.

"We were pleased to report improved sales trends in the first quarter. In fact, our results exceeded our expectations and we are on-track for the year," Bryant said.

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