Diamond Foods, Inc. (Nasdaq:DMND) announced a $38 million planned expansion of its production facility in Beloit, Wisconsin to meet increased demand for its Kettle Brand potato chips. More than 100 new jobs will be created, and production capacity at the plant will be doubled. The expansion will allow broader distribution of Kettle products throughout larger markets in the East, South and Midwest. The decision to expand the Beloit facility was made after evaluating many factors including a package of financial incentives from the State of Wisconsin and the City of Beloit. The project represents an on-going successful private-public sector partnership between Diamond Foods and the State of Wisconsin and the City of Beloit.
"Diamond Foods is proud to be able to expand our Beloit operations by investing to create new jobs and better serve our customers and consumers," said Michael J. Mendes, Chairman, President and CEO. "Diamond has a deep history of investing in our brands, plants, and supply chain to meet growing demand for our products, which has been foundational to our success."
Diamond Foods is a high-growth innovative packaged food company focused on building, acquiring and energizing brands including Kettle®Chips, Emerald® snack nuts, Pop Secret® popcorn, and Diamond of California® culinary and snack nuts. The Company's products are distributed in a wide range of stores where snacks and culinary nuts are sold.
Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) reported soft third quarter 2010 earnings per share, internal net sales and internal operating profit, consistent with the Company's October 21, 2010 announcement. Third quarter softness was due to weaker performance in some of the Company's core cereal markets, continued competitive intensity, and the impact of the cereal recall.
Third quarter reported net earnings were $338 million, a 6 percent decrease over the same quarter a year ago. Third quarter reported earnings per diluted share declined 4 percent to $0.90, and 2 percent on a currency-neutral basis.
Reported net sales declined 4 percent to $3.2 billion in the third quarter. Internal net sales, excluding the effect of foreign currency translation, decreased 2 percent year-over-year. Total reported operating profit in the quarter decreased 5 percent to $541 million driven primarily by lower net sales and increased advertising investment. Internal operating profit decreased 3 percent. Reported gross margin contracted by 50 basis points to 43.4 percent in the quarter because of higher than expected cost pressures and lower volume levels.
"We are disappointed with our third quarter performance which was due to softness in our businesses as well as a tough operating and deflationary environment driven by intense competition," said David Mackay, Kellogg Company's chief executive officer. "2010 has been a challenging year, and as a result, two weeks ago, we lowered our full-year guidance to reflect the operating challenges."
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