US cereal company Kellogg has said it is “off to a great start” in 2004 and said first-quarter earnings growth would be around 30%.

Kellogg, which last week said it was facing a lot of pressure as a result of rising commodity prices, said the strong performance is primarily due to the company posting double-digit sales growth, which is better than it expected, and foreign exchange translation having a greater impact on profit than originally anticipated.

“Our business momentum is strong enough that we can raise our earnings guidance, even as we encounter significantly higher commodities costs and reinvest for the future. This reinvestment includes substantially increased brand building, as well as costs related to projects that offer high returns on investment and the opportunity to enhance profitability in the future,” CEO Carlos Gutierrez said.

The company also raised its full-year 2004 earnings per share guidance to a range of US$2.07 to $2.11, from a previous range of $2.05 to $2.09.