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Campbell outlines growth strategy for 2013

July 24, 2012
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Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., outlined its progress on current growth strategies and its plans to return to growth in fiscal 2013 at a meeting with investors this morning.

“We’ve made progress in this fiscal year, and we will continue to advance our core strategies for growth in fiscal 2013,” President and Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison said in a statement. “Our strategic framework is a roadmap to drive smart, meaningful and successful change at Campbell. We will tend very carefully to our core business, while we shift our center of gravity toward new consumer groups, new consumer needs, new consumer platforms and new geographies.”

Campbell’s three growth strategies focus on the following: Stabilizing and then profitably growing its North America soup and simple meals business; expanding its international presence, particularly in emerging markets; and continuing to grow its healthy beverages and baked snacks businesses. The company will continue to implement these strategies in the upcoming fiscal year, it says.

Mark Alexander, president of Campbell North America, outlined fiscal 2013 plans for U.S. beverages, including efforts to drive the V8 100 percent vegetable juice business and to fuel continued growth in the V8 V-Fusion franchise. Campbell will introduce the first line extensions to V8 100 percent vegetable juice in nearly 10 years, and also will launch V8 V-Fusion Iced Teas in lemon and peach flavors, among other new product innovations.

Excluding acquisition costs associated with the planned purchase of Bolthouse Farms, Campbell remains on track to deliver results consistent with its previous guidance, with fiscal 2012 sales growth expected to be near the low end of the previously forecast range of 0 to 2 percent; adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) expected to decline at a level near the low end of the previously forecast range of 7 to 9 percent; and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) expected to decline at a level near the upper end of the previously forecast range of 5 to 7 percent, the company says.

“We expect improvement across our entire portfolio next year,” said Craig Owens, senior vice president, chief financial officer and chief administrative officer, in a statement. “We are doing the right things to continue to improve our trajectory, including a significantly enhanced innovation pipeline. We are making progress with our strategies and are vigorously working to deliver further progress in fiscal 2013.”

Campbell expects to return to growth in sales, adjusted EBIT and adjusted net EPS in fiscal 2013. The growth rates for fiscal 2013, before considering the positive impact of the Bolthouse Farms acquisition, are expected to be below the company’s long-term targets of net sales growth of between 3 and 4 percent, adjusted EBIT growth of between 4 and 6 percent, and adjusted net EPS growth of between 5 and 7 percent.

A webcast of the meeting is available at investor.campbellsoupcompany.com.

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