Campbell income falls 37% in year

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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CAMDEN, N.J. — The impact of currency translation, charges and a shorter fiscal year had a negative impact on financial results for Campbell Soup Co. with earnings down 37% during fiscal year 2009.

For the year-ended Aug. 2, the company had earnings of $736 million, equal to $2.09 per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $1,165 million, or $3.12 per share, during the previous year.

Sales for the year were $7,586 million, down 5% from $7,998 million during fiscal 2008.

"We completed the year with a solid fourth quarter and delivered a strong year of earnings growth," said Douglas Conant, president and chief executive officer. "We were able to overcome currency headwinds and other macroeconomic challenges to achieve adjusted earnings-per-share growth within our long-term target of between 5% and 7%. We successfully introduced innovative new products, including Select Harvest soups and Swanson stock, and delivered strong sales growth across our entire U.S. soup portfolio and sauces businesses. We delivered an outstanding year in our Asia Pacific business, produced a very solid year in Pepperidge Farm and continued to advance our plans in the emerging markets of Russia and China. We also improved our gross margins through a combination of pricing actions and productivity improvements and generated more than $1 billion in cash flow from operations."

Operating earnings for the U.S. Soup, Sauces and Beverages segment was $927 million, up 4% from $891 million during the previous year. Sales for the segment were $3,784 million, up 3% from $3,674 million during the previous year.

The Baking and Snacking segment had operating earnings of $262 million, up significantly from $120 million during the previous year. Sales for the segment were $1,846 million, down 10% from $2,058 million during fiscal 2008.

The International Soup, Sauces and Beverages segment had earnings of $69 million, down 61% from $179 million during the previous year. Sales in the segment were $1,357 million, down 16% from $1,610 million.

For the fourth quarter, the company as a whole had net earnings of $69 million, or 20c per share, down 22% from $89 million, or 25c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $1,528 million, down 11% from $1,715 million.

The company said it expects 2010 adjusted net earnings per share growth of between 5% and 7% and anticipates a rise in net sales of 3% to 4%.

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