June 29 (Reuters) - Chef Boyardee pasta maker Conagra Brands Inc reported a 29 percent rise in quarterly profit as it cut back on promotions and jettisoned low-margin products.
U.S. packaged food makers, including Conagra, General Mills Inc and Kellogg Co, are struggling with sluggish demand as more consumers shift to fresh foods and products perceived as healthier.
In response, Conagra has been focusing on boosting margins by adding premium products, while cutting back on discounting and raising prices in some cases.
Selling and other expenses fell 43 percent, while cost of selling goods fell 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter ended May 28.
The company also said it would buy back an additional $1 billion in shares, taking its repurchase authorization to about $1.38 billion.
Net income attributable to the company rose to $151.3 million, or 36 cents per share, in the latest quarter from $117.6 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned 37 cents per share.
Net sales fell 9.3 percent to $1.86 billion.
The company's adjusted profit and revenue were in line with the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru, Editing by Anil D'Silva)