Kellogg Earnings Rise 18 Percent
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) _ Cereal maker Kellogg Co. on Friday reported an 18 percent climb in third-quarter earnings from the same period a year ago.
Kellogg said it earned $213.8 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with $180.8 million, or 43 cents a share, in the third quarter of 1996. Results for both years exclude non-recurring charges while reflecting a two-for-one stock split that took effect Aug. 22.
The company said it posted third-quarter sales of $1.8 billion, up 7 percent from $1.68 billion during the same quarter last year. Kellogg’s sales volume worldwide rose 11 percent _ or 6 percent if the company excludes the Lender’s Bagels business it acquired last December.
Friday’s report covers a quarter in which the company opened a $75-million W.K. Kellogg Institute for Food and Nutrition Research, and launched its Razzle Dazzle Rice Krispies line.
``We remain totally committed to delivering more value to customers and to Kellogg shareholders through product innovation and market-building initiatives ...,″ Kellogg’s chief executive Arnold Lanbo said in a statement.
Lanbo said the company also hoped to boost profitability through its previously announced plan to close by this year’s end Europe plants in Latvia, Denmark and Italy. Production from those closures would be shifted to Kellogg’s remaining four plants in Europe, the company has said.
The closures and related distribution adjustments should result in pre-tax, non-recurring charges of up to $150 million in the fourth quarter, the company said. The move should produce estimated pre-tax savings of $60 to $70 million when completed, Kellogg said.