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Strong 3Q for Kraft


US food giant Kraft Foods posted healthy third-quarter earnings of $869 million (€890m) on Wednesday claiming solid sales and a boost from new products.

"Kraft delivered strong earnings growth in the quarter, driven by higher volume, productivity and synergy savings, and lower interest expense," said Roger K. Deromedi, co-chief executive officer of Kraft Foods.

"With added momentum from new products, increased marketing investment and gains in developing markets partially fuelled by acquisitions, pro forma volume grew 3.3 per cent," added Betsy D. Holden, co-chief executive officer of Kraft Foods. "We continue to expect full year volume growth of around 3 per cent."

Net earnings amounted to 50 cents a share, a massive 73 per cent higher than the previous year's $503 million, or 29 cents a share.

Excluding an accounting change for goodwill amortisation, which strongly boosted quarterly results, profits were up 14 per cent. Revenue climbed to $7.2 billion from $7 billion.

The company cited particularly strong quarters in North America for such newer items as Double Delight Oreo, Chips Ahoy! Cremewiches and DiGiorno deep dish pizza, along with more-established products such as Maxwell House coffee, Kool-Aid Jammers and Honey Bunches of Oats with Strawberries.

Volume in cheese and meats was down amid tough competition for cheese and lower consumption of luncheon meats.

Earlier this week Kraft announced the US$110 million (€111.4m) sale of its Fleischmann ingredients business in Latin America to Australian bakery ingredients company Burns Philp.

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