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Kraft CEO Sees Strong Growth Ahead As It Sets Its Own Course

Kraft Foods Chief Executive Irene Rosenfeld said Monday she expects the nation's largest food company to show strong growth in the future.

“I am confident that we’ll be able to generate accelerated growth,” Rosenfeld told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." “We’re focused on reframing our categories to make them more contemporary, and to provide consumers with the food they need and love.”

Kraft shares fell sharply on Monday in the company's first session after being spun off from its former parent Altria Group, which also owns tobacco giant Philip Morris USA.

Kraft shares shed more than 4% to $30.28, while Altria shares gained 2.7% to $67.64.

After the close of trading on Friday, Altria distributed its 89% stake in Kraft to Altria shareholders of record on March 16. Shareholders received 0.69 of a share of Kraft for each common share of Altria held.

“There’s no question that we have a solid financial position – good cash flows, attractive margins – and (the spinoff ) just gives us much more flexibility to make use of those assets,” Rosenfeld said. “As we think about the opportunity to be able to take on more debt, to be able to buy back our shares, to be able to use our stock as currency, not to mention the benefit it has in simplifying our overall processes.”

According to Rosenfeld, Kraft plans to invest in sales and marketing support as well as research and development.

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