Heinz has reiterated its commitment to returning value to shareholders in response to the proposal submitted by the group of activist investors spearheaded by billionaire Nelson Peltz.

Addressing shareholders, the company said that over the past four years Heinz had undergone various transformations to improve earnings and increase shareholder value.

“Since 2002 we have been looking to increase brand focus. It has taken time to put this into practice, but we are now seeing the fruits of this strategy,” a Heinz spokesperson told just-food. 

On 1 June the company will update shareholders about the Heinz Superior Value and Growth plan for FY 2007/8. The plan, Heinz said, will provide details of innovation and marketing for the company’s top brands along with supply chain and trade spending savings. At this time, the company will also outline its dividends and share repurchase strategy.

The company highlighted the increased cash flow from operations between 2003 and 2006 had allowed Heinz to return US$4.2bn to shareholders.