Campbell baking and snack earnings rise in year

by Eric Schroeder
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CAMDEN, N.J. — Operating earnings within the Baking and Snacking division of the Campbell Soup Co. totaled $322 million in the year ended Aug. 1, up 23% from $262 million in fiscal 2009. The prior year included $3 million in costs related to initiatives to improve operational efficiency and long-term profitability.

Sales rose 7% during fiscal 2010 to $1,975 million, which compared with $1,846 million in fiscal 2009. Currency added six percentage points of growth during the year, while volume and mix added two points, price and sales allowances added one point, and acquisitions added one point. The gains were more than enough to offset a three-percentage-point decline in increased promotional spending.

For the fourth quarter, earnings rose 6% to $73 million from $69 million, while sales advanced 3% to $479 million.

“Sales of Pepperidge Farm were comparable to a year ago, as the acquisition of Ecce Panis, Inc. and volume gains were offset by increased promotional spending,” Campbell said. “Excluding the acquisition, sales from the bakery business declined, reflecting increased promotional spending partly offset by volume gains. In the cookies and crackers business, sales were comparable to a year ago, as solid gains in Goldfish snack crackers were offset by a decline in cookies.”

Overall, net income at Campbell Soup Co. in the year ended Aug. 1 totaled $844 million, equal to $2.42 per share on the common stock, up 15% from $736 million, or $2.05 per share, during the previous year. Sales for the year were $7,676 million, up 1% from $7,586 million during the previous year.
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