Kellogg Company has reported continued strong sales and earnings growth exceeding the company’s long-term internal growth targets in Q1.

Reported net earnings for the first quarter of 2006 were US$274.1m, an 8% increase from last year’s $254.7m, building on a 15% growth in the comparable period of last year.

Kellogg’s chairman and chief executive officer Jim Jenness said: “The strong momentum we’ve built in recent years continued through the first quarter. We exceeded our growth targets, made significant investment in our businesses, and overcame continued cost pressures. These results again demonstrate the strength and flexibility of our business model.”

Kellogg’s revenue in the quarter increased by 6% to $2.7bn, with internal net sales growth at 7%, compared to growth of 6% in the first quarter of last year.

Operating profit increased narrowly, by 1% to $472.5m in the first quarter, and internal operating profit growth, excluding the impact of foreign exchange and stock compensation, was 6% in the quarter.

In its outlook for the year, Kellogg stated that it now expects full-year earnings to be in a range of $2.45-2.49 per share.

In addition, the company expects gross margin expansion and operating profit growth to equal or exceed sales growth for the full year.

Jenness added: “We began the year with significant sales momentum. This momentum and our commitment to run the business for long-term growth, give us increased confidence that we will achieve our full-year targets. The strong performance we expect in 2006 is a testament to our continued commitment to delivering sustainable, dependable results.”