BATTLE CREEK, Mich., Apr 30, 2009 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) today reported solid first quarter 2009 growth in internal net sales, internal operating profit and currency-neutral earnings per share. The strong performance was driven by internal net sales growth and a focus on cost savings.
Kellogg also announced that it plans to increase up-front cost investments for cost savings initiatives from the original expectation of $0.14 per share to approximately $0.22 per share for 2009, while still maintaining current 2009 earnings per share guidance. These investments will help enable the Company to deliver its goal of reducing annual costs by $1 billion by the end of 2011.
First quarter net earnings were $321 million, a 2% increase from last year's $315 million. First quarter reported earnings per diluted share were $0.84, a 4% increase on a reported basis and a 14% increase on a currency-neutral basis. First quarter results included an estimated $0.05 per share impact due to the cost of the recent peanut-related recalls.
"By remaining focused on our business model and strategy, we performed ahead of our expectations during the first quarter despite cost pressures and the difficult economic environment," said David Mackay, Kellogg's chief executive officer. "We also continue to focus on cost-savings initiatives and reinvestment for the future. We now plan to increase our up-front cost investments to achieve our ambitious $1 billion savings target."
First quarter reported net sales decreased 3% to $3.2 billion. Internal net sales growth, which excludes the effects of foreign currency translation and acquisitions, rose 4%. Kellogg North America posted first quarter reported net sales growth of 3%; internal net sales growth was 4%. North America Retail Cereal delivered internal net sales growth of 6% for the quarter. Retail Snacks posted internal net sales growth of 2%, which was negatively impacted by the peanut-related recalls. North America Frozen and Specialty Channels businesses together delivered internal net sales growth of 6%.
Kellogg International posted a first quarter 2009 reported net