Campbell to deliver strong e.p.s. in fiscal 2009

by Bakingbusiness Staff
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CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co. expects to deliver sales growth for fiscal 2009 with a long-term target range of between 3% and 4%, the company said as a part of an investor update. Also for the year the company expects to have adjusted net earnings per share to exceed the 5% to 7% range from the fiscal 2008 base of $2.09.

"Year to date, fiscal 2009 has been a successful year for Campbell, especially considering the unprecedented upheaval in global financial markets," said Craig Owens, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer. "In our U.S. soup business, we have delivered one of the best top-line performances in many years. We’ve introduced market-leading innovations with the successful launch of several new products, making significant gains in the ready-to-serve segment with our Campbell Select Harvest line and improving our position in the highly competitive broth segment."

Campbell also is planning on enhancing its Campbell’s Chunky line and will feature 24 varieties with lean meat and 30 items with a full serving of vegetables. In the coming year the company will reduce sodium in its tomato soup by 32% to 480 mg per serving and will reposition the Healthy Request soups by reducing sodium levels to 410 mg per serving and feature the American Heart Association certification on the label. The company also plans to add five new Mediterranean-style varieties to the Select Harvest line this fall.

The company said it will expand in the Chinese and Russian markets. This includes expanding its product portfolio in China as well as possible geographic expansion in the country, and integration of Campbell’s Russian operations with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. and expansion of certain products into national distribution.

"Internationally, we have delivered strong performance in Asia Pacific," Mr. Owens said. "We also have advanced our emerging markets plans by forging a long-term partnership in Russia that will provide access to the best distribution system in Russia for our products. We have achieved all of this and more in an extremely challenging economic environment."

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