By RTT News,
February 13, 2014, 06:16:00 PM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Packaged food giant Kraft Foods Group Inc. ( KRFT ), Thursday reported a surge in fourth-quarter profit, driven mainly by a hefty gain from post-employment benefit plans and lower costs.
Sales for the quarter rose from a year ago, helped by improved volumes that was partially offset by lower prices.
Northfield, Illinois-based Kraft Foods' fourth-quarter profit surged to $931 million or $1.54 per share from $90 million or $0.15 per share in the same period last year. Earnings for the quarter included a $1.11 benefit from market-based impacts to post-employment benefit plans.
On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.61 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Kraft Foods, which makes Kraft Cheese, Maxwell House coffee, and Oscar Mayer deli meats, said its revenues for the quarter grew 2.3 percent to $4.60 billion from $4.49 billion last year. Thirteen analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $4.63 billion for the quarter.
Revenues were driven by volume gains of 4.0 percentage points that were partially offset by lower prices attributable to lower costs for ingredients such as raw nuts and coffee beans.
Selling, general and administrative expenses dropped to $409 million from $865 million last year.
Chief Executive Tony Vernon said, "We made significant strides during our first full year as a public company. Our focus on driving profitable growth while reinvesting in our brands and people has delivered solid results to date and will serve us well as we continue to remake Kraft into the best food and beverage company in North America."
Kraft was formed when the original parent entity Kraft Foods Global Inc. split into two companies in 2012, with its international snacks business, called Mondelez International Inc. ( MDLZ ), and North American grocery business -- Kraft Foods Group Inc.
KRFT closed Thursday's trading at $53.60, up $0.19 or 0.35%, on the Nasdaq. The stock further gained $0.90 or 1.67%, in after hours-trade.
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