US group ConAgra Foods has pointed to “difficult conditions” in some of its branded categories for a cut to its full-year earnings forecast.

The Hunt’s ketchup and Healthy Choice ready meals owner said it now expects its diluted earnings per share to be US$2.34-2.38 in its current financial year, which runs until the end of May. In June, ConAgra had forecast earnings per share of around $2.40 for the year.

“While challenging industry conditions have weighed on overall results, the softer-than-planned first-quarter comparable EPS performance principally relates to the consumer foods segment, where difficult conditions for some branded retail categories and some customers have negatively impacted sales and profits,” ConAgra said. “Unit volumes for that segment in the fiscal first quarter were below year-ago levels and below the company’s original plans.”

To improve the results from its consumer foods business, ConAgra said it was making changes to merchandising, promotion and pricing. 

It also plans to implement “aggressive cost management initiatives”, although it noted the outlook for input costs had improved for the rest of the financial year.

Shares in ConAgra, up over 7% in 2013 so far, were down 5.72% at $31.64 at 12.48 ET.

ConAgra is set to report results for its first quarter next Thursday (19 September).