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Heinz tomato ketchup product line the shelves of a West Mifflin, Pa., market Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006.

GENE J. PUSKAR/AP

H.J. Heinz Co. reported lower quarterly net earnings on Thursday, hurt by one-time charges related to productivity improvements.

The ketchup maker said net earnings were $175.3-million (U.S.), or 54 cents per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter ended April 29, down from $223.9-million, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding pre-tax charges of $113-million, or 27 cents per share, Heinz earned 81 cents per share.

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Sales rose to $3.05-billion from $2.89-billion a year earlier.

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