PITTSBURGH — H.J. Heinz Co. said Thursday that its fiscal first-quarter profit jumped by 23%, thanks in part to strong sales growth, even as the ketchup and food maker awaited the outcome of a struggle with activist investors.
Profit grew to $194.1 million, or 58 cents a share, for the quarter ended Aug. 2, compared with $157.3 million, or 45 cents, a year earlier.
Revenue at the Pittsburgh-based company edged up 8% to $2.06 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected a profit of 54 cents a share on revenue of $2.05 billion.
William R. Johnson, Heinz's chairman, president and chief executive, said the results reflected the company's aggressive plan to boost core brand sales and cut costs.
Activist investors seeking a voting bloc on the Heinz board and led by billionaire Nelson Peltz this year proposed similar measures for Heinz, which has been criticized in recent years for its weak stock performance.