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Kraft Foods: profit down but better than expected

Northfield / IL. (kf) Kraft Foods Inc. posted a 13 percent drop in first-quarter net income as the surging cost of dairy products, wheat and other products hit the food titan despite a revenue boost helped by product-price hikes. The Northfield (Illinois) based company reported net income of 608 million USD, or 0,40 USD a share, compared with 702 million USD, or 0,43 USD a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose to 10,37 billion ISD from 8,59 billion, with an eight percent boost from acquisitions and five percent from the weak Dollar.

Chairman and Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld said the results reflect continued momentum as Kraft enters the second year of a three-year turnaround plan. «Our brands got stronger, our market share increased, our investments continue to pay off, and our margins improved sequentially from the fourth quarter». Soaring dairy and other commodity costs and a weakened economy have weighed on Kraft´s results in recent quarters. The company had refrained from raising prices on its products to offset higher input costs until recently, instead spending heavily in its major categories in order to improve brand recognition (press release).