Campbell Soup Profit Up on Sales Increase

Monday, November 22nd 2004, 10:01 am
By: News On 6

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) _ Campbell Soup Co., the world's largest soupmaker, reported a 9 percent gain in first-quarter profits Monday as sales of products from soups to chocolates rose.

Earnings for Camden-based Campbell in the quarter that ended Oct. 31 were $230 million, or 56 cents per share, up from $211 million, or 51 cents per share, in the same period in 2003.

The company's performance beat the consensus expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call by 4 cents.

Sales rose by nearly 10 percent, jumping from to $2.1 billion from $1.9 billion.

The company reiterated its expectations that it will grow by 5 percent to 7 percent during the fiscal year that ends at the end of July.

Campbell is in the fourth year of a campaign to quell gradually declining sales of its highly profitable condensed soups.

In the most recent quarter, sales of condensed soups rose _ as did the advertising costs for those same soups. The company said the new gravity-feed shelving systems installed at many supermarkets are a factor because they make it easier for shoppers to find the soups they're looking for.

In addition to soup, Campbell brands include V-8 juices, Pepperidge Farm cookies and crackers, Prego pasta sauce, Pace picante sauce and Godiva chocolates.