August 26, 2008

Kraft Sees Double-Digit Organic Net Revenue Growth for Middle East & Africa Region

Kraft sees double-digit organic net revenue growth for middle east & Africa regionStrategic investments and pricing drive regional success

Kraft Foods Inc (NYE: KFT) reported strong second quarter 2008 results, with global net revenue for the same period increasing by 21.4 percent to $11.2 billion and operating income jumping by 27.1 percent to $1.5 billion. Continuing in previous trends, Kraft Foods' Middle East and Africa operations delivered double digit organic net revenue growth at 13.2 percent, resulting in a combined organic net revenue growth of 17.1 percent for developing markets. Primary drivers for the region's overall positive outlook included successful brand and marketing investments, as well as favourable product mix and pricing that more than offset higher input costs. Our business continues to strengthen and performance is exceeding our expectations despite a challenging operating environment. Our investments in this region are driving stronger top line growth and we are now seeing that reflected in improved profitability. We expect our year-on-year results to improve further in the second half of 2008 as we continue to reinvest in our brands and reduce our costs", said Patrick Satamian, Vice-President and Area Director, Kraft Foods, Middle East & Africa.

According to Satamian, Egypt and several of the company's emerging markets in the MEA region, experienced the highest volume of growth at more than 52%, with powdered beverages, cheese, biscuits and confectionary leading this development throughout the region. The integration of the Danone portfolio, which was successfully completed in Egypt, also impacted the company's overall strong performance.

"Our outlook for this region is positive, and we will continue to maintain this upward growth trend. At present, our investments in this region include six manufacturing facilities that produce a variety of Kraft products, as well as contract manufacturing and license agreements in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and South Africa, added Satamian.

In April this year Kraft Foods opened its sixth manufacturing facility in the region. Located in Bahrain, the state-of the-art facility produces 60,000 metric tonnes of Kraft cheese and Tang products per annum specifically for this region. In addition, the company also manufactures and markets a broad portfolio of iconic brands including Oscar Mayer meats; Philadelphia cream cheese; Maxwell House coffee; Nabisco cookies and crackers and its Oreo brand; Jacobs coffees, Toblerone and Milka chocolates and LU biscuits.

Kraft Foods Inc has raised its outlook for 2008 organic net revenue growth to at least six percent, up from the previous expectation of at least five percent as a result of further pricing actions to offset rising input costs. The company continues to expect cumulative annualized savings from the restructuring programme to reach approximately $1.0 billion by year-end and $1.2 billion by the end of 2009. To date, cumulative annualized savings from this cost restructuring programme totaled approximately $927 million, up from approximately $785 million at the end of 2007.

ABOUT KRAFT FOODS INC.For more than a century, Kraft ( has offered delicious foods and beverages that fit the way consumers live. Today, we are turning the brands that consumers have lived with for years into brands they can't live without. Millions of times a day in more than 150 countries around the world, consumers reach for their favorite Kraft brands, including nine with revenues exceeding $1 billion: Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; Oscar Mayer meats; Philadelphia cream cheese; Maxwell House coffee; Nabisco cookies and crackers and its Oreo brand; Jacobs coffees; Milka chocolates; and LU biscuits. Kraft is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies with annual revenues exceeding $37 billion, more than 100,000 employees and more than 180 manufacturing facilities globally. The company's stock (NYSE: KFT) is listed on the S&P 100 as well as the Dow Jones and Ethibel Sustainability Indexes. 2008 Al Bawaba (

Originally published by By Al-Bawaba Reporters.

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