HJ Heinz has today (1 September) reported “solid” first-quarter profit growth, driven by double-digit sales growth in emerging markets and North America.

In the quarter ended 28 July, the company earned US$240m compared to $213m in the prior year, which included a net loss of $2.2m from discontinued operations.

Operating income increased 9.9% to $406m, boosted by higher sales and gross margin.

Reported sales climbed 1.6% to $2.48bn as Heinz delivered 3.6% organic sales growth across its global portfolio.

Heinz reaffirmed its previously announced outlook for fiscal 2011.

Chairman, president and CEO William Johnson said: “Heinz is off to a good start in fiscal 2011 and we remain confident about the company’s business fundamentals, despite the difficult economic climate. While we anticipate that our full-year results will be impacted by foreign currency movements, we plan to continue executing our well-established strategy to grow our core portfolio, accelerate growth in emerging markets, strengthen and leverage global scale and make talent an advantage for Heinz.”

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