By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Food Weekly News -- Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) reported its results for the second quarter of fiscal 2014. Second-Quarter Overview U.S. Simple Meals Sales Rose 7 Percent; Earnings Increased 12 Percent Including the Acquisition of Kelsen Group, Global Baking and Snacking Sales Were Up 14 Percent; Earnings Increased 19 Percent U.S. Beverages Sales Declined 3 Percent; Earnings Decreased 16 Percent The company reported earnings from continuing operations for the quarter ended Jan. 26, 2014, of $235 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $171 million, or $0.54 per share, in the prior year. In the second quarter of fiscal 2014, the company and its joint venture partner Swire Pacific Ltd. agreed to restructure manufacturing and streamline operations for its soup business in China. The company recorded pre-tax restructuring charges of $13 million ($5 million after tax or $0.02 per share in earnings from continuing operations attributable to Campbell Soup Company) related to this initiative. Excluding items impacting comparability in both periods, adjusted earnings from continuing operations increased 19 percent to $240 million compared with $201 million in the prior year's quarter, and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 19 percent to $0.76 compared with $0.64 in the year-ago quarter. A detailed reconciliation of the reported financial information to the adjusted information is included at the end of this news release.
Denise Morrison, Campbell's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We remain focused on strengthening our core business and expanding into higher-growth spaces as we reshape our portfolio to improve Campbell's long-term growth trajectory. We made progress on both fronts in the second quarter after a slow start to the year. In the quarter, we delivered 6 percent reported net sales growth and 15 percent adjusted EBIT growth, driven by our core business and the Kelsen Group acquisition. We also closed on the divestiture of our European simple meals business. Finally, we maintained our steadfast focus on driving productivity and managing costs.
"Our improved performance included 7 percent growth in U.S. Simple Meals, driven largely by an increase of 5 percent in U.S. Soup sales reflecting strong holiday shipments and increased retailer inventory levels, as well as gains from our new 'Campbell's' dinner sauces and 'Prego' white sauces. In Global Baking and Snacking, Pepperidge Farm continued to deliver growth in 'Goldfish' crackers, cookies and fresh bakery. Kelsen Group, which we acquired to expand our snacks business in developing markets, performed well in China and Hong Kong during their important holiday season. Indonesia continued to post double-digit sales growth. Bolthouse Farms also drove solid growth with double-digit sales increases in premium refrigerated beverages and salad dressings."
Morrison continued, "We still face some challenges in U.S. Beverages and Australia, but we have taken steps to strengthen these businesses. In January, we transitioned 'V8' single-serve products to a new national distribution network that will focus on driving growth in immediate consumption channels over time. In Australia, we brought in new leadership for Asia Pacific, developed a more focused plan for our core biscuit business and implemented initiatives to reduce costs."
Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Food, China, Beverage, Campbell Soup Company.
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