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Heinz Earnings Fall 36 Percent

March 9, 1999

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Food maker H.J. Heinz Co.’s earnings fell 36 percent in the latest quarter, dragged down by the costs of combining two divisions.

For the three months ended Jan. 28, Heinz had $120.6 million in net profits, down from $188.2 million in the same period last year. Per-share earnings were 33 cents, down from 51 cents.

The company also cited the ``disappointing performance″ of the 9-Lives four-pack of pet food, but said losses there were offset by gains in the Weight Watchers classroom business. Heinz does not publicize sales in its divisions.

Sales were $2.28 billion, up from $2.24 billion in the same period last year.

The news sent the company’s stock down 93 3/4 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $51.06 1/4 in early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Heinz spent $147 million on restructuring in the quarter _ the equivalent of 27 cents per share. The company combined its Ore-Ida and Weight Watchers Gourmet Food businesses and reduced its workforce by 400 people through layoffs and attrition.

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