Restructuring charges weigh on Campbell earnings

by Staff
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CAMDEN, N.J. — Restructuring charges and lower sales in U.S. soups contributed to a 5% decline in earnings for Campbell Soup Co. during fiscal 2011.

For the year ended July 31, the company had earnings of $805 million, equal to $2.44 per share on the common stock, which compared with earnings of $844 million, or $2.44 per share, during fiscal 2010. Sales for the year were $7,719 million, up 1% from $7,676 million during fiscal 2010.

“Our fourth-quarter results were slightly better than expected,” said Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer. “Our Global Baking and Snacking segment delivered strong performance with double-digit top-and bottom-line growth in the quarter. We also continued to make progress on our efforts to stabilize U.S. Simple Meals. But we have more work to do. As expected, lower promotional spending contributed to improved soup profits despite anticipated volume declines. We’re confident that rebalancing our marketing investments toward consumer-focused brand-building activities and developing a more robust innovation pipeline is the right approach to restore profitable growth over time. Sales of U.S. Beverages declined slightly in the quarter compared to 12% growth a year ago. Significant cost inflation and increased promotional spending depressed beverage profits in the quarter.”

The U.S. Simple Meals segment had earnings of $657 million during the year, down 11% from $737 million during the previous year. Sales for the segment were $2,751 million, down 6% from $2,938 million.

The U.S. Beverages segment had earnings of $182 million during the year, down 12% from $206 million during the previous year. Sales for the segment were $759 million, down slightly from $762 million.

For the fourth quarter ended July 31, the company as a whole had earnings of $100 million, or 31c per share, down 12% from $113 million, or 33c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $1,607 million, down 6% from $1,518 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

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