Speaking at an investor conference yesterday, Betsy D. Holden and Roger K. Deromedi, Co-CEOs of Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT), reported that the company continues its strong financial performance and is on track to achieve its stated earnings expectations for the year.
Holden and Deromedi spoke at the Prudential Securities Back-to-School Consumer Conference, held in Boston, MA.
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 owned Nabisco for all of 2000, rather than from the actual acquisition date of December 11, 2000. In addition, pro forma results assume common shares outstanding of 1.735 billion based on the assumption that shares issued immediately following the recent Kraft initial public offering (IPO) were outstanding during all periods presented and that effective January 1, 2000, the net proceeds of the IPO were used to retire a portion of a long-term note payable used to finance the Nabisco acquisition.
Through 2003, the company projects continued strong performance, with volume expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 3 to 4 percent from Kraft’s 2000 pro forma base. 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 14 to 16 percent on a compounded basis.
In addition, Deromedi and Holden noted that the company’s integration of Nabisco’s businesses and infrastructure is on track, 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 by 2004.
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
(Editors Note: The full text of the remarks is available at the company’s website at www.kraft.com. The remarks summarized above were broadcast via live webcast, and an archived copy of the webcast will be available until 5:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 13, 2001, at www.kraft.com.)