Feb. 13--Kraft Foods Group's fourth-quarter revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations, due in part to lower prices for nuts and coffee, while its profit soared on a large accounting benefit related to retiree compensation and benefit plans.
The Northfield-based maker of Kraft macaroni & cheese and Oscar Mayer meats also said on Thursday that Executive Chairman John Cahill would switch to a non-executive chairman role on March 8. That move comes after Kraft reported what it said were "solid results" for its first full year as a public company.
Kraft earned $931 million, or $1.54 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from $90 million, or 15 cents per share, a year earlier. The latest quarter included $782 million of income related to the accounting benefit.
Revenue rose 2.3 percent to nearly $4.6 billion, missing analysts' forecast of $4.63 billion. Organic revenue, which excludes the impact of acquisitions, divestitures, currency fluctuations and transactions with Mondelez International Inc., rose 3.2 percent.
Cheese sales were slightly lower, due to lower prices and a string cheese product recall. Sales rose in most of the company's other categories, such as beverages and refrigerated meals. The company lowered some prices due to its own lower costs for ingredients such as raw nuts and coffee beans, which crimped revenue.
Kraft Foods, which also sells Planters nuts and Philadelphia cream cheese, went public in October 2012 after the company formerly known as Kraft Foods Inc. split into two separate companies, Kraft and Mondelez. Mondelez, known for snacks such as Oreo cookies, posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday.