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FE&SFlashNews — 2004-12-20 — News

December 20, 2004

ConAgra Foods' Second Quarter Strong

ConAgra Foods Inc. has reported results for the fiscal 2005 second quarter, which ended Nov. 28, 2004.

Sales for the quarter increased 8% to $4.1 billion. Diluted EPS from continuing operations was $0.47 for the quarter, compared with $0.45 last year. Current quarter operating profit was $545 million, 10% above last year, as all segments posted operating profit growth in the current quarter. Current quarter income from continuing operations before income tax was $390 million, 6% above last year.

Bruce Rohde, chairman and CEO, said his company is “tracking with its plan for solid EPS performance this fiscal year. Our sales growth this quarter builds on last quarter's strong top-line performance and reflects continued progress with marketing and operating initiatives being implemented to fuel profitable growth. As expected, we continued to experience increased input costs in several areas of our business, which we were largely able to offset through volume gains, price adjustments, better sales and marketing, and cost-saving initiatives. We look forward to this momentum continuing through May, which concludes the second half of our fiscal year."

For the first six months of fiscal 2005, total sales increased 8% to $7.6 billion. Operating profit was $886 million, 9% above last year. Income from continuing operations before income tax and cumulative effect of change in accounting was $605 million, 13% above last year. Diluted EPS for the first half of fiscal 2005 was $0.73, compared with $0.87 last year; several items impact the year-over-year EPS comparison.

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