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OMAHA, Neb. -- ConAgra Foods here reported today that is third quarter earnings were in line with expectations. For the period ended February 23, 2003, sales were $4.4 billion, down as planned from $6.2 billion last year, following the divestiture of the fresh beef and pork business.
Packaged foods gross profit increased 2 percent, versus the first-half increase of 6 percent. The slower rate of growth was attributed to the foodservice environment. Many of ConAgra's consumer brands posted sales growth, including Act II, Eckrich, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Kid Cuisine, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Slim Jim, and Swiss Miss.
"We are encouraged by the mix and margin improvement we have achieved through the first nine months of the fiscal year," said Bruce Rohde, chairman and c.e.o. "Our increased focus on product innovation and marketing improvements is gaining momentum and acceptance among consumers and trade customers."