CAMDEN, N.J. – The Campbell Soup Co. plans to launch Goldfish crackers made with organic wheat later this year, said Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer of the Camden-based company.
|Denise Morrison, president and c.e.o. of Campbell|
“We are, in the United States, continuing to work on our Goldfish brand, and we believe there’s more growth in that brand particularly as we move into products in the health and well-being space,” she said in a Feb. 25 earnings call.
The Goldfish brand belongs to Campbell Soup’s Global Biscuits and Snacks segment, which had operating earnings of $141 million in the second quarter ended Jan. 31, up 23% from the second quarter of the previous year. The segment achieved second-quarter sales of $682 million, down 32%. Excluding the negative impact of currency translation, second-quarter sales in Global Biscuits and Snacks were up 2%.
“Our core developed markets of Australia and the United States continued to deliver positive results,” Ms. Morrison said of the Global Biscuits and Snacks segment. “I'm pleased with the performance in our U.S. biscuits and bakery business, with sales growth across numerous Pepperidge Farm categories, including fresh bakery, frozen and cookies.
“Looking ahead, we have solid innovation plans in place in our core developed markets, with new products in the U.S. such as the launch of artisan rolls and the introduction of Goldfish crackers with organic wheat. In Australia, we're restaging our Shapes product line to increase the flavor of these popular snacks.”
In developing markets, declines in Indonesia offset sales growth in Malaysia, Ms. Morrison said. The Kjeldsen business remains the primary focus in China.
In Global Biscuits and Snacks, a higher gross margin percentage drove operating earnings in the second quarter. The earnings were offset partly by the negative impact of currency translation and higher marketing expense.
Pepperidge Farm sales increased in the second quarter with gains in fresh bakery, frozen products and cookies. In Asia Pacific, excluding the negative impact of currency translation, Arnott’s sales gains in Australia from Tim Tam biscuits were offset partly by declines in Indonesia.
Companywide, Campbell Soup Co. had net earnings of $265 million, or 85c per share based on the common stock, up 19% from $222 million, or 71c per share, in the second quarter of the previous year. Net sales of $2,201 million were down 1% from $2,234 million.
For the six-month period ended Jan. 31, net earnings of $459 million, or $1.48 per share based on the common stock, were down 2% from $470 million, or $1.50 per share, in the same time period of the previous year. Net sales of $4,404 million were down 2% from $4,489 million in the same time period of the previous year.Within the Global Biscuits and Snacks segment in the six-month period ended Jan. 31, operating earnings of $255 million were up 20% while net sales of $1,334 million were down 4%.