HJ Heinz has posted an increase in net income for fiscal 2009 and said it will increase its dividend in 2010.

Net income for the year ended 29 April increased 9.2% to reach US$923m.

Chairman and CEO Bill Johnson said Heinz expects to deliver “solid EPS and sales growth on a constant currency basis” in fiscal 2010.

However, Johnson admitted its results will likely be affected by “unprecedented currency volatility”.

Operating income also declined 4.8% to $1.49bn due to the negative impact of currency translation (7.7%) and transaction currency cross rates costs in the UK (2.8%).

Despite this, organic sales increased 5.5%, led by strong performances in emerging markets and North American consumer products.

Sales in emerging markets grew 8.8% on a reported basis and 15.7% on an organic basis, propelled by double-digit organic sales growth in India, Indonesia, Latin America, Poland and baby food in China.

“Emerging markets are a key driver of long-term growth for Heinz and they remain on target to generate 20% of our total sales by 2013,” Johnson said.

Organic sales from Heinz’s North American consumer products segment increased 6.4%, while reported sales rose 4.1%.

Organic sales in Europe increased 6.1%, while reported sales declined 3.4% due to the impact of foreign currency translation.

On a constant-currency basis, Heinz said it expects sales growth of 4% to 6% and anticipates operating income growth of 6% to 8% growth. EPS growth is expected to reach 5% to 8%.

Heinz said it will increase its annualised common stock dividend in fiscal 2010 by 2 cents, to $1.68 from $1.66.

Heinz has increased the dividend by 56% since adjusting it for the Del Monte spin-off in December 2002.

Johnson said: “This dividend increase reflects the ongoing confidence of management and the Heinz board of directors in the future of Heinz.

“We have world-class brands, a proven plan that is delivering growth in our core businesses and emerging markets, excellent cash flow and one of the best teams in the industry.”