Campbell income climbs 11% in quarter

by Staff
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CAMDEN, N.J. — With growth in its snack, food service and international businesses offsetting a decline in its U.S. soup, sauces and beverages segment, Campbell Soup Co. posted an 11% increase in earnings during the third quarter.

For the quarter ended May 1, the company had earnings of $187 million, equal to 58c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $168 million, or 49c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $1,813 million, up 1% from $1,802 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

“This quarter we reported a modest increase in sales and EBIT and a significant improvement in earnings-per-share growth, with three of our four reporting segments contributing to this performance,” said Denise Morrison, chief operating officer. “While we are encouraged by our progress, we are not satisfied with this performance and clearly have more work to do.

“After heavy discounting in U.S. soup during the first half, we began shifting our marketing investments in the third quarter toward brand building initiatives. Over time we anticipate that these efforts, combined with accelerated and targeted innovation, will improve price realization and strengthen brand equity. Sales of our beverage products softened this quarter compared to very strong results a year ago. We have a pipeline of healthy beverage innovations to build on our track record of growth. In Baking and Snacking, our second-largest segment, we continued to deliver strong performance with double-digit sales increases and strong bottom-line results this quarter.”

The U.S. Soup, Sauces and Beverages segment had earnings of $193 million, down 10% from $214 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $778 million, down 8% from $848 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

The Baking and Snacking segment had earnings of $82 million, up 8% from $76 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $527 million, up 10% from $477 million.

The International Soup, Sauces and Beverages segment posted earnings of $41 million, up 11% from $37 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $354 million, up 7% from $331 million.

The North America Foodservice segment had earnings of $22 million, which compared with a loss of $3 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $154 million, up 5% from $146 million.

For the nine months ended May 1 the company as a whole had earnings of $705 million, or $2.13 per share, down 4% from $731 million, or $2.11 per share, during the same period of the previous year.

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