Q2 sales up, profits down for Campbell's

CAMDEN, N.J. The Campbell Soup Co. says its second-quarter profit slipped 3.9 percent even though its sales rose.

The world’s largest soup maker stated that it earned $274 million or 71 cents per share for the three months ended Jan. 27. That was down from $285 million, or 72 cents a share, a year ago. Its sales climbed 7.4 percent to $2.21 billion from $2.1 billion a year earlier.

The company attributed that sales growth to volume and mix, which added 4 percent, price and sales allowances, which added 1 percent, increased promotional spending, which subtracted 1 percent; and currency, which added 3 percent.

“Through the first half of the year we have delivered strong sales growth across many of our businesses. Despite the difficult operating environment, we also have delivered solid earnings performance from continuing operations, while maintaining marketing support for our key brands.,” said Douglas Conant, president and chief executive officer.

“In the quarter, our U.S. soup business rebounded from a slow start to the year, driven by the performance of ready-to-serve soups and broths. Across our soup portfolio, lower sodium soups continued to perform well. Our beverage business continued its outstanding performance, with double-digit sales growth. Pepperidge Farm delivered strong sales and earnings growth in spite of significant commodity cost increases.”

For all of fiscal 2008, Campbell’s still expects profits to be up 5 percent to 7 percent.

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