CAMDEN, N.J. — Stronger results in ready-to-serve soups and broths as well as in baking and snack foods contributed to a 2% increase in earnings at Campbell Soup Co. during the third quarter.
For the quarter ended April 28, the company had earnings of $181 million, equal to 58c per share on the common stock, which compared with income of $177 million, or 56c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $2,094 million, up 15% from $1,821 million during the same quarter of the previous year.
“I am very pleased by our results in the third quarter and the strong performances by a number of our key businesses,” said Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer. “In U.S. Soup, our condensed, ready-to-serve soups and broth businesses delivered double-digit sales growth. Global Baking and Snacking also posted solid top-line growth across Pepperidge Farm crackers, cookies and bakery, as well as in Arnott’s biscuits. At Bolthouse Farms, we delivered another quarter of strong results in super-premium beverages, carrots and salad dressings.
“We remain committed to our dual mandate. We are strengthening our core portfolio through consistent excellence in execution, optimized investment and sustaining product innovation. We are also expanding into higher-growth categories, adjacencies and geographies.
“In the third quarter, we drove profitable growth in several of our core North American businesses through successful execution against all of the drivers of demand, including enhanced products, stronger advertising and effective in-store presence. Across our entire portfolio, innovation contributed meaningfully to our growth, including core brand expansions such as new varieties of ‘Campbell’s Chunky’ soups. We are also encouraged by our early breakthrough innovation efforts in U.S. Simple Meals.”
The U.S. Simple Meals segment had earnings of $156 million, up 30% from $120 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $627 million, up 11% from $567 million.
The Global Baking and Snacking segment had earnings of $73 million, equal to the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $568 million, up 5% from $543 million during the same quarter of the previous year.
The U.S. Beverages segment had earnings of $33 million, down 27% from $45 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $198 million, down 5% from $208 million during the same quarter of the previous year.
The Bolthouse and Foodservice segment had earnings of $27 million, up 35% from $20 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $344 million, up 123% from $154 million.
For the nine months ended April 28, the company as a whole had earnings of $616 million, or $1.96 per share, down 5% from $647 million, or $2.03 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were $6,763 million, up 11% from $6,094 million.
The company said it expects earnings per share for fiscal 2013 to be in the range of $2.58 to $2.62.