Campbell Soup Company posted net sales of $2.18 billion in its first quarter, 1% lower than the year-ago period.
Despite gains by Prego pasta sauces, Campbell’s meals and beverages unit saw sales decrease 3%. Sales of US soups were down 3%, in part due to the later date of Thanksgiving this year.
Within the snacks division, sales were up to 2%, driven primarily by gains in Goldfish crackers, fresh bakery products, Pepperidge Farm cookies as well as gains in Cape Cod and Kettle Brand potato chips.
In the three months to 27 October, the New Jersey-headquartered company posted net earnings of $166 million, down from $194 million last year.
“Our performance to start the new fiscal year was largely in line with our expectations and builds upon the solid foundation we set in fiscal 2019,” said Mark Clouse, Campbell’s CEO.
“I was especially pleased that our in-market consumption grew more than 1% in measured channels. Additionally, we grew soup share for the first time in ten quarters, one of the early signs of progress in our three-year journey to revitalise this business. Strong in-market consumption on US soup was offset by the timing of shipments related to the Thanksgiving holiday.
“In snacks, we delivered another quarter of strong marketplace performance with eight of nine power brands growing or holding share, while we continued to make steady progress integrating the business and delivering cost synergies.”
In August 2018, Campbell announced it would divest Campbell International and Campbell Fresh to focus the company on its core North American businesses.
The company said expected net proceeds of approximately $3 billion from the divestitures of Campbell Fresh, Campbell International and the European chips business are being used to reduce debt.
In the first quarter of fiscal 2020, Campbell achieved $45 million in savings under its multi-year cost savings programme, inclusive of Snyder’s-Lance synergies, bringing total programme-to-date savings to $605 million. The company expects to deliver cumulative annualised savings of $850 million by the end of fiscal 2022.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019