Conagra profit beats on higher ready meal, frozen vegetables demand

FILE PHOTO: Cans of Chef Boyardee, a product of ConAgra Foods, are seen on the shelf of a grocery store in the Brooklyn borough of New York December 16, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Ornitz/File Photo

(Reuters) - Conagra Brands Inc CAG.N on Thursday reported better-than-expected profit and sales, as coronavirus-induced at-home eating trends boosted demand for its frozen vegetables and ready-to-eat meals.

Organic net sales, which exclude impacts from mergers & acquisitions and currency fluctuations, rose 15% in the first quarter, much higher than the 10%-13% range it had previously anticipated.

The maker of Chef Boyardee pastas and Slim Jim beef jerky also raised its quarterly cash dividend by 29% and issued a forecast for second quarter organic growth in the range of 6%-8%.

Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber