September 3/Camden, N.J./Business Wire -- Campbell Soup Company reported its fiscal 2010 results. Fourth-quarter sales decreased 1% to $1.518 billion, as beverage sales increased 12% and U.S. soup sales decreased 5%.
For the full year, sales Increased 1% to $7.676 billion, owing to "significant improvement in gross margin percentage," driven by Increased productivity-adjusted earnings before interest and taxes increased 7% and the company generated more than $1 billion in cash flow from operations.
Net earnings for the quarter ended Aug. 1, 2010, were $113 million, or $0.33 per share, compared with $69 million, or $0.20 per share, in the prior year. Excluding items impacting comparability, all related to fiscal 2009, adjusted net earnings increased 6% in the quarter from an adjusted $107 million in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted net earnings per share increased 10% in the current quarter from $0.30 in the year-ago quarter. A detailed reconciliation of current and prior-year adjusted financial information to the reported information is included at the end of this news release.
Douglas R. Conant, Campbell's president and CEO, said, "In a challenging year, we delivered strong earnings growth, overcoming softer-than-expected sales, particularly in our U.S. soup business. We had another year of strong cash flow performance, generating more than $1 billion in cash flow from operations. For the year, we expanded gross margins through supply chain productivity improvements and previously announced cost-savings initiatives."
Conant continued, "By effectively managing our margins in a tough economic environment, we have set the stage for next year and positioned the company for growth through continued innovation, category leading marketing spending and competitive pricing. I am confident that we have the right strategies to drive growth across our strong portfolio of healthy beverages, baked snacks and simple meals. In healthy beverages, we will build on our track record of innovation and continue our effective marketing efforts. In baked snacks, we have a full slate of innovation across our portfolio with exciting new products for Pepperidge Farm and Arnott's. In U.S. soup, we have significant plans to enhance our condensed soups, strengthen our competitiveness in ready-to-serve soups and introduce a new advertising campaign to support the entire U.S. portfolio of 'Campbell's' soup brands and to help drive category growth."
Fiscal 2011 Guidance
In fiscal 2011, Campbell expects sales growth of 2-3% and adjusted earnings growth before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 4-5%. These growth rates are slightly below the company's long-term growth targets, reflecting the challenging economic and consumer conditions in the marketplace. Despite these conditions, Campbell expects fiscal 2011 EPS growth to be within its long-term target range of 5-7% from the fiscal 2010 adjusted base of $2.47.
From the September 7, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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