Kraft Heinz to restate 2 years of results after investigation

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New York (AFP)

Kraft Heinz will revise earnings dating back to 2016 after an investigation uncovered employee wrongdoing that undercounted costs, the company announced Monday.

The packaged food giant that makes Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Jell-O, said in a securities filing it took "employee personnel actions" after the probe "identified that several employees in the procurement area engaged in misconduct."

The company opened the investigation after the Securities and Exchange Commission in October 2018 issued a subpoena on its procurement.

Kraft Heinz has been under pressure since February 21, when it disclosed the SEC probe and also announced a large write down of key brands. The company, criticized for aggressive cost-cutting following the 2015 merger of Kraft and Heinz, last month replaced its chief executive.

Kraft Heinz restated results for 2016, 2017 and 2018 due to misstatements that incorrectly reported lower costs. Under the revised figures, Kraft Heinz reported a modest hit to profits in 2016 and 2017, but a slightly smaller loss in 2018.

"The findings from the investigation did not identify any misconduct by any member of the senior management team," the filing said.

Kraft Heinz also disclosed that it received a second subpoena from the SEC on March 1 following the February 21 announcements on asset write-downs. The company said it is cooperating with the probe, which also sought documents on procurement.

"The Company cannot predict the eventual scope, duration, or outcome of any potential SEC investigation or whether it could have a material impact," it said in the filing.

Shares of Kraft Heinz rose 0.1 percent in early afternoon trading to $32.60.