Earnings Dive As Heinz Sheds Brands to Focus on ‘Power’ Core

13 March 2003

Following an assets-for-cash-and-stock deal with Del Monte Foods in December, H J Heinz announced Tuesday it is to concentrate its efforts on just fifteen “power brands”. Among the businesses transferred to Del Monte were StarKist tuna fish, US/Canadian petfoods, US private-label soups and US baby food.

In addition to $1.1 billion (€0.997bn; £0.682bn) in cash, Heinz shareholders also received just under one-half share of Del Monte stock for each Heinz share held. Effectively, this means that Heinz stockholders now control the restructured Del Monte with around 75% of its shares.

Heinz’ net earnings in its second fiscal quarter to October 30 dived 24% to $151.6 million but following the disposals earnings rose by almost 19% to $191.5m in Q3, ended January 29.

During the latter period ketchup sales increased 3.3% to command 60 per cent of the US market. The “world’s favorite ketchup” also dominated the Canadian market with 76% share, while in the UK its sugary condiment holds over seventy per cent.

Other core Heinz brands include its ubiquitous baked beans, branded soups, Ore-Ida french fries and Smart Ones readymeals.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff