Kraft sees 2009 profits rise by 3.2%

Kraft Foods has reported a 3.2% increase in revenues for 2009, and says its recent acquisition of Cadbury will help to accelerate long-term growth.

Kraft reached a deal to buy Cadbury earlier this month, in a move to create the world’s largest confectioner.

The maker of Oreo cookies and Velveeta cheese said fourth-quarter earnings rose to $710m (£452m), compared with $178m (£113m) a year earlier, which included costs tied to Kraft’s restructuring program. Revenue rose 3.2% to $11.03bn (£7.03bn).

Organic revenue rose 0.4% hit by a decline in dairy costs that led the company to lower cheese prices.

Kraft has says it expects the Cadbury deal to hurt 2010 results, but it should eventually help to accelerate long-term growth.

Cadbury recently supported the launch of a new variant called Dairy Milk Bar of Plenty with an integrated advertising campaign. It was the first launch by the confectioner since its takeover from Kraft.

Meanwhile, Kraft is launching its own rival brand to Cadbury Dairy Milk called Milka in the UK. It has hired Ogilvy to create ads for the launch, but is unable to confirm any plans for rollout.

Cadbury’s former European president Tamara Minick-Scokalo is reportedly joining Kraft Foods Europe as head of European confectionery.

Kraft Foods Europe recently recruited Daryl Fielding, the former Ogilvy & Mather executive and prime architect of the Dove Real Women campaign, as its vice-president of marketing.

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