Campbell's Baking and Snacking net rises

by Eric Schroeder
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CAMDEN, N.J. — Operating earnings within the Baking and Snacking division of the Campbell Soup Co. rose 38% in the second quarter ended Jan. 31 to $73 million from $53 million, driven primarily by a favorable impact of currency and margin growth in both Pepperidge Farm and Arnott’s. The year-ago results included $2 million in costs related to a restructuring program.

Sales rose 11% to $489 million, which compared with $440 million in the same period last year.

“Sales of Pepperidge Farm increased due to higher volumes and the acquisition of Ecce Panis, Inc., partially offset by increased promotional spending,” the company said. “Excluding the acquisition of Ecce Panis, sales from the bakery business decreased, reflecting higher promotional spending, partly offset by increased volumes. In the cookies and crackers business, sales increased reflecting the continued solid growth of Goldfish snack crackers, partly offset by a decline in cookies.”

Campbell said higher sales of both savory and sweet biscuit products helped drive Arnott’s sales in Australia.

For the first six months of fiscal 2010, operating earnings within the Baking and Snacking division rose 27% to $173 million from $136 million. Sales increased 7% to $1,019 million.

Overall, Campbell Soup Co. posted earnings of $259 million in the second quarter, equal to 74c per share on the common stock, up from $233 million, or 65c per share, in the same period a year ago. Net sales were $2,153 million, up from $2,122 million. For the six months ended Jan. 31, net income was $563 million, or $1.62 per share, up 14% from $493 million, or $1.36 per share, in the first six months of fiscal 2009. Net sales were $4,356 million, down slightly from $4,372 million.

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