Speaking at an investor conference on Thursday (1 November), Betsy D. Holden and Roger K. Deromedi, Co-CEOs of Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT), reported that the company’s performance continues to be strong and is on target to achieve earnings expectations for the year.
Holden and Deromedi spoke at the UBS Warburg Global Consumer Conference, held in New York City. They reaffirmed that Kraft continues to project pro forma earnings per share of $1.18 to $1.21 for all of 2001, and pro forma cash earnings per share of $1.74 to $1.77. Pro forma results assume Kraft had acquired Nabisco and concluded its IPO on January 1, 2000.
Looking beyond this year, the company continues to project volume growth at a compound annual rate of 3 to 4 percent. Net earnings are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 18 to 22 percent, driven by top line growth, strong productivity programs, Nabisco synergies and prudent redeployment of free cash flow. The company also expects cash net earnings to grow at a compound annual rate of 14 to 16 percent.
Deromedi and Holden noted that the company’s integration of Nabisco’s businesses and infrastructure is on track and proceeding smoothly, and the company expects to achieve its planned net synergy targets of $100 million in 2001, growing to approximately $600 million in ongoing annual savings.
Holden and Deromedi also reported that in the recently released 2001 Cannondale survey of 250 U.S. retailers, Kraft was ranked the number-one manufacturer for offering the best combination of growth and profitability. Kraft was also a clear winner versus all other consumer packaged goods companies in terms of best sales force and customers’ teams.
Kraft Foods had pro-forma worldwide underlying revenue of $34.1 billion in 2000. The company markets many of the world’s leading food brands, including Kraft cheese, Maxwell House and Jacobs coffees, Nabisco cookies and crackers, Philadelphia cream cheese, Oscar Mayer meats, Post cereals and Milka chocolates, in more than 140 countries.
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains projections of future results and other forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties and are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The following important factors could cause actual results and outcomes to differ materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements.
The Company is subject to unfavorable currency movements, intense competition, changes in consumer preferences and demand for its products, changing prices for raw materials and energy and the effects of foreign economies and local economic and market conditions. Its results are dependent upon its continued ability to promote brand equity successfully; to anticipate and respond to new consumer trends; to develop new products and markets and to broaden brand portfolios; to compete effectively with lower-priced products in a consolidating environment at the retail and manufacturing levels; to improve productivity; to successfully integrate Nabisco’s operations with its own; and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s publicly-filed documents, including but not limited to the Prospectus related to its initial public offering of shares. The Company cautions that the foregoing list of important factors is not complete and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement.
For more information, please visit our website at www.kraft.com