News Column

Campbell Reports Third-Quarter Results

June 5, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Food Weekly Focus -- Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) reported its results for the third quarter of fiscal 2014. Third-Quarter Overview U.S. Simple Meals Sales Rose 7 Percent; Earnings Increased 12 Percent Global Baking and Snacking Sales Declined 1 Percent; Earnings Decreased 7 Percent International Simple Meals and Beverages Sales Declined 17 Percent; Earnings Decreased 4 Percent The company reported earnings from continuing operations for the quarter ended April 27, 2014, of $184 million, or $0.58 per share, compared with earnings of $169 million, or $0.53 per share, in the prior year. In the third quarter of fiscal 2014, the company recognized a pre-tax pension settlement charge of $18 million ($11 million after tax or $0.03 per share) associated with a U.S. pension plan. The settlement charge resulted from the level of lump sum distributions from the plan's assets in 2014, due primarily to the closure of the Sacramento facility. Excluding items impacting comparability in both periods, adjusted earnings from continuing operations increased 7 percent to $195 million compared with $183 million in the prior year's quarter, and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations increased 7 percent to $0.62 compared with $0.58 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, "While we delivered growth in third-quarter earnings, our organic sales growth of 1 percent reflected mixed performance and fell short of our expectations.

"Although I am encouraged by our 7 percent sales increase in U.S. Simple Meals, I am disappointed that our plans did not drive stronger sales results in U.S. Soup. We recognize that we were cycling a year-ago quarter when we delivered 14 percent growth in U.S. Soup. Despite an increase in the frequency of our promotional activity in the third quarter, we did not realize the anticipated lifts in a challenging consumer environment. Sales of U.S. Soup held steady versus the strong performance in the year-ago quarter. Within U.S. Soup, 'Swanson' broth maintained strong momentum as consumers responded to our strong marketing and continued to cook more with broth."

Morrison continued, "I am pleased with our double-digit sales gain in U.S. Sauces including 'Prego', 'Pace' and 'Campbell's' Skillet and Slow Cooker dinner sauces, with consumers using these products to prepare simple meals. I remain encouraged by the growing platform Bolthouse Farms provides us in the packaged fresh category with juices, salad dressings and carrots.

"We continue to address our challenges in U.S. Beverages and Australia. In both cases, our new leadership has plans to deliver better results."

Keywords for this news article include: Food, Beverage, Campbell Soup Company.

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Source: Food Weekly Focus

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