|After years of struggle, company moves to adjust to changing environment.|
In recent years, Campbell Soup Co. in an effort to accelerate growth has acquired three companies with annual combined revenues in excess of $1 billion and growth rates well above Campbell’s modest average. Still, the newly acquired businesses — Bolthouse Farms, Plum Organics and Kelsen Group — account for less than 15% of Campbell’s annual revenues.
Bolthouse considers snacks
Pushing Plum forward
Near-term financial challenges remain
Even as the Campbell Soup Co. pursues fundamental change in its business approach, significantly improved financial results will not be immediately forthcoming, said Anthony DiSilvestro, senior vice-president and chief financial officer. The company’s long-term targets include annual sales growth of 3% to 4%, EBIT growth of 4% to 6% and earnings per share growth of 5% to 7%. Mr. Silvestro described the targets as “appropriate,” but with a qualifier.
“When we first set these targets, many of the categories in which we compete were experiencing higher growth rates than today,” he said during the company’s July 21 investor day. “Also we did not anticipate the challenges we have had in U.S. beverages and in Australia. We believe that success against the dual mandate, strengthening the core, including the turnaround of U.S. beverages and Arnott’s and expanding into higher growth spaces, will improve our financial performance.
“However, in the current environment, further portfolio reconfiguration, including value creating acquisitions and further cost management may be required to achieve our long-term growth targets.”
Sales and earnings growth in 2015 “will be short of our long-term targets,” he said. Specific guidance will be issued with earnings in early August.