Kraft Foods Inc. Reports 10.5 Percent Gain In Annual Net Revenues

Kraft Foods Inc. reported strong fourth quarter and full year 2011 results, driven by robust revenue growth, effective cost management and focused investments in the company's iconic brands.

"We delivered terrific results in 2011, and our businesses are healthier than ever due to the disciplined execution of our strategy," said Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO in a prepared statement. "We expect to deliver top-tier growth in 2012, in line with our long-term targets, while we prepare to successfully launch the North American grocery and global snacks companies later this year."

For the full year, net revenues were $54.4 billion, up 10.5 percent. Organic net revenues grew 6.6 percent, driven by strong growth across all geographies. Pricing contributed 6.0 percentage points of growth, and volume/mix contributed 0.6 percentage points.  

Operating income for the fourth quarter was $1.5 billion, and operating income margin was 10.3 percent. Underlying operating income, which excludes acquisition-related costs, integration program costs, and spin-off-related costs, grew 7.4 percent to $1.7 billion.

Operating income for the full year was $6.7 billion, and operating income margin was 12.2 percent. Underlying operating income grew 9.7 percent to $7.2 billion, driven primarily by effective management of input costs through pricing and productivity, favorable foreign currency and volume/mix gains. These gains were partially offset by the year-over-year change of unrealized gains/losses from hedging activities and the loss of the Starbucks CPG business. Underlying operating income margin of 13.3 percent was essentially flat versus the prior year despite the impact of the higher revenue base (from pricing) on the margin calculation.

Diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter were $0.47, while Operating EPS was $0.57, including a negative impact from foreign currency of $0.01.

Diluted EPS for the full year was $1.99. Operating EPS was $2.29, up 13.4 percent, driven primarily by operating gains, lower tax costs, and favorable foreign currency. Earnings growth was tempered by the change in unrealized gains/losses from hedging activities, higher shares outstanding, the impact of divestitures and higher interest expense.

Adjusted free cash flow for the full year was $3.2 billion, essentially flat versus the prior year, with earnings growth offset by the impact of commodity inflation on working capital as well as higher capital expenditures.  

Robust revenue growth and a continued focus on cost management fueled strong operating income gains in Kraft Foods North America.

Net revenues for the fourth quarter increased 8.9 percent, while organic net revenues increased 7.0 percent.  

Net revenues for the full year increased 5.1 percent. Organic net revenues grew 4.8 percent, led by higher pricing across each business segment and significant contributions from new products.

Segment operating income increased 12.7 percent for the fourth quarter. For the full year, segment operating income grew 3.6 percent, including a negative 3.4 percentage point impact from divestitures (primarily the Starbucks CPG business). Excluding this factor, the growth in full year segment operating income reflected effective management of input costs, lower SG&A and the impact of a 53rd week of shipments, partially offset by unfavorable volume/mix.  

Continued investment behind power brands and focus on cost management drove strong top- and bottom-line gains in Kraft Foods Europe in every quarter this year.

Net revenues for the fourth quarter increased 7.5 percent, while organic net revenues increased 3.1 percent.

For the full year, net revenues grew 14.9 percent. Organic net revenues increased 4.6 percent as strong brand equities enabled a positive contribution from volume/mix despite significant pricing actions. Power brands grew more than 7 percent.  

Segment operating income for the fourth quarter grew about 120 percent as sharply lower integration program costs versus the prior year accounted for more than 100 percentage points of the increase. Unfavorable currency had a negative 2.9 percentage point impact.  

Segment operating income for the full year increased 26.1 percent, including benefits of 6.9 percentage points from lower integration program and acquisition-related costs versus the prior year and 5.4 percentage points from currency. Excluding these factors, the strong growth in segment operating income reflected productivity gains and cost synergies, lower SG&A and accounting calendar changes (including the impact of a 53rd week of shipments). These gains were tempered by higher raw material costs net of pricing.

Kraft Foods developing markets delivered strong revenue and operating income growth despite volatile market conditions in each of its three regions.

Net revenues for the fourth quarter increased 2.4 percent, while organic net revenues grew 7.2 percent.  Net revenues for the full year increased 16.2 percent. Organic net revenues grew 11.2 percent, driven by both higher pricing and volume/mix gains. Power brands grew approximately 17 percent.  

Segment operating income for the quarter increased 30.8 percent, including a favorable 16.6 percentage point impact from lower integration program costs versus the prior year, and a negative 2.7 percentage point impact from currency.  

Segment operating income for the full year grew 30.2 percent, including benefits of 6.0 percentage points from lower Integration Program and acquisition-related costs versus the prior year, 5.2 percentage points from currency and 3.0 percentage points from the addition of Cadbury. Excluding these factors, the strong increase in segment operating income was driven by volume/mix gains and effective management of input costs, partially offset by overhead investments to support growth and higher advertising and consumer support.

In 2012, Kraft Foods expects to deliver organic net revenue growth of approximately 5 percent, including a negative impact of up to one percentage point from product pruning in North America. Operating EPS is expected to grow at least 9 percent on a constant currency basis, despite a higher effective tax rate and a 4 percentage point headwind from higher pension costs.  

"Our business momentum remains strong," said David Brearton, executive vice president and CFO. "We're confident that we can continue to deliver top-tier growth while we position ourselves to launch two industry-leading companies by the end of the year."

The company also said that it will incur one-time restructuring, transition and transaction costs of $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion as it prepares to separate into two companies later this year.  In addition, the company estimates that it may incur between $400 million and $800 million of potential debt breakage and financing fees as it executes a migration of debt to the North American grocery company.

 

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