PITTSBURGH (AP) — H.J. Heinz Co.'s fiscal first-quarter net income jumped 13 percent, largely on stronger sales in Asia.
The foodmaker best known for its signature ketchup said Wednesday that it earned $240.4 million, or 75 cents per share, for the quarter that ended in late July. That's up from $212.6 million, or 67 cents per share, earned in the same quarter last year.
Heinz's revenue rose 1.6 percent to $2.48 billion.
Analysts expected Heinz to earn 73 cents per share with better revenue of $2.53 billion.
Heinz gave an early glimpse at its performance Tuesday at its annual meeting, saying its earnings per share would climb and beat forecasts.
But on Wednesday, the company released its full earnings report. Much of its success came from its growing business in emerging markets, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, which accounted for 18 percent of the company's sales.
Worldwide, volume rose 2.5 percent and price increases helped boost sales by 1.1 percent.
In the company's Asia/Pacific region, sales rose 19 percent to $558 million, while volume climbed almost 7 percent, thanks to strong sales of products in India, Indonesia, China and New Zealand.
In North America, revenue rose 4.8 percent to $762 million while volume climbed 5.3 percent as consumers bought more ketchup, pasta sauces and frozen entrees.
Elsewhere, though, the news was less rosy. Sales slid in Europe and other areas of the globe as well as in the company's U.S. food-service division.
On Wednesday, it also backed its full-year outlook.
"We remain confident about the company's business fundamentals, despite the difficult economic climate," Chairman and CEO William R. Johnson said in a statement.
Heinz also makes foods such as Ore-Ida potatoes and Classico pasta sauce and is based in Pittsburgh. Its shares closed Tuesday at $46.24.