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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May, 2005, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Heinz to sell international firms
Heinz tomato ketchup on sale in a US supermarket
Heinz hopes its US success can be achieved in Europe
Ketchup and soup maker Heinz is to sell some international businesses to focus on its more-profitable brands.

Heinz said fourth-quarter profits were up 5% to $206.5m (113m), from $196.5m in the same period a year ago, thanks largely to its performance in the US.

The company said it will now focus on its "big brands" as well as separately looking to develop markets in Russia, India, Indonesia and China.

It has just completed a three year plan focussing on ketchups and sauces.

Frozen foods

Sales rose 5% to $2.45bn, during the quarter Heinz said, including a volume increase of 1.5%.

However, it said recent performance in Europe had been "below par" and the firm hopes for a better performance there in the current financial year.

Heinz is to sell its HAK line of prepared vegetables in northern Europe and has started a review of its seafood - which has been hit by higher tuna prices - and frozen businesses in Europe.

It is also examining the future of its Tegel poultry business in New Zealand. The review will include the Weight Watchers from Heinz and Linda McCartney frozen foods brands.

Heinz expects the overhaul of its international operations to result in charges of between $75m and $100m.




SEE ALSO:
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