International business helps spur Campbell growth

by Staff
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CAMDEN, N.J. — Second-quarter net income rose 11% at Campbell Soup Co., driven in part to strength in the company’s Baking and Snacking and International Soup, Sauces and Beverages segments.

Net income in the second quarter ended Jan. 31 totaled $259 million, equal to 74c per share on the common stock, up from earnings of $233 million, or 65c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $2,153 million, up slightly from $2,122 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

“In the quarter, we delivered good earnings growth driven mainly by overall strong cost management, productivity gains and favorable currency,” said Douglas R. Conant, president and chief executive officer. “In particular, our Baking and Snacking and International Soup, Sauces and Beverages segments improved their earnings performance.

“In U.S. Soup, Sauces and Beverages, earnings declined due to lower sales, particularly in ready-to-serve soup. Our condensed soup business, especially cooking varieties, and our broth business both delivered solid performance and remained well positioned in this economic environment. In the ready-to-serve business, our lower promotional spending and intense competitive activity in the broader simple meals category impacted our results. We have plans in place to drive improved performance in ready-to-serve soup in the second half.”

Earnings in the U.S. Soup, Sauces and Beverages unit were $259 million, down 4% from $270 million during the same period of the previous year. Sales in the segment were $1,068 million, down 5% from $1,128 million during the same period of the previous year.

In the Baking and Snacking segment, earnings were $73 million, up 38% from $53 million during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $489 million, up 11% from $440 million during the same period of the previous year.

In the International Soup, Sauces and Beverages segment, earnings totaled $74 million, up 48% from $50 million during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $437 million, up 12% from $391 million during the same period of the previous year.

For the six months ended Jan. 31, the company had earnings of $563 million, or $1.62 per share, up 14% from $493 million, or $1.36 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the period were $4,356 million, nearly flat compared with $4,372 million during the same period of the previous year.

“Looking ahead, we remain on track to deliver good bottom-line growth for the year supported by management and productivity gains,” Mr. Conant said. “Based on our results through the first half and our plans for the remainder of the year, last week we reiterated our full-year guidance for adjusted net earnings per share growth and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes.”

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