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Heinz profit rises on growth in emerging markets

Heinz tomato ketchup product line the shelves of a West Mifflin, Pa., market in this Aug. 31, 2006 file photo.

GENE J. PUSKAR/GENE J. PUSKAR/AP

H.J. Heinz Co. posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, helped by growth in emerging markets, and narrowed its full-year outlook, sending its shares up 2.5 per cent.

The ketchup maker said net income was $284.7-million (U.S.), or 88 cents a share, in the fiscal third quarter ended Jan. 25, up from $273.8-million, or 84 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges related to productivity initiatives, earnings were 95 cents a share. On that basis, analysts on average were expecting 85 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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Sales were $2.92-billion, compared with $2.72-billion a year earlier and analysts' estimate of $2.89-billion.

Heinz said it now expects 2012 earnings of $3.27 to $3.29 a share excluding a benefit of five cents a share from foreign currency exchange rates and one-time charges.

Its prior forecast, which also excluded currency fluctuations and charges, was $3.24 to $3.32 a share.

Heinz shares rose to $53.40 in pre-market trading from Thursday's close at $52.10 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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