Kraft, whose stable of famous food brands
includes Velveeta cheese, Jell-O desserts and Maxwell House
coffee, said it expected a slow start to the year in part due to
the weak U.S. job market and the recent reduction in federal
food stamp benefits.
The Northfield, Illinois-based company said fourth-quarter net
earnings rose to $931 million, or $1.54 per share, up from $90
million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago.
Earnings from the latest quarter included a $1.11 per share
accounting gain due to higher discount rates and asset returns
that benefited its pension and retiree medical plans.
Net revenue grew 2.3 percent to $4.6 billion with the company
selling more goods and a greater proportion of higher-priced
products. That was slightly offset by lower prices to offset
lower costs for ingredients such as raw nuts and coffee beans.
Kraft, whose products also include Oscar Mayer lunch meats,
Planters nuts and Capri Sun juices, lost its exposure to
high-growth emerging markets after its 2012 split from Mondelez
International Inc <MDLZ.O> and has been working to increase
sales of its stable of mature brands.
Shares of Kraft, which closed at $53.61, climbed 1.2 percent to
$54.24 in after-hours trading.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los
Angeles; editing by Bernard Orr)
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