Camden, N.J.-based Campbell Soup Co. reported a 15 percent increase in sales to nearly $2.1 billion for the third quarter of fiscal year 2013. In the United States, its soup business grew in the double digits; its global baking and snack sales were up 5 percent; and its new Bolthouse Farms acquisition increased sales by 11 percent. However, U.S. beverage sales declined 5 percent, it noted.
Bolthouse Farms and Campbell’s foodservice business reached $344 million during the third quarter, with the acquisition of Bolthouse Farms contributing $205 million. Sales in North America Foodservice declined 10 percent compared with the prior-year period, primarily due to declines in frozen soup, reflecting the loss of a major restaurant customer, it reported.
Sales for U.S. beverages were $198 million for the third quarter, which represents a decrease of 5 percent compared with the year-ago period. The decrease in sales was due to declines in V8 vegetable juice, the company stated.
“We are disappointed that certain parts of our portfolio did not perform well in the quarter,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison in a statement. “U.S. Beverages faced ongoing softness in the shelf-stable juice category and heightened competition. North America Foodservice continued to be challenged by the loss of a major restaurant customer and structural shifts in the foodservice sector. We are aggressively pursuing plans to improve the performance of these businesses.”
Nevertheless, Morrison said that she is pleased with the company’s overall third-quarter results and the performances by a number of the company’s key businesses.
“Our strategic plan is intended to deliver sustainable, profitable net sales growth,” Morrison said in a statement. “We are still in the early stages of executing this plan, and we know that more work lies ahead. We believe our encouraging third-quarter results demonstrate the long-term promise of the plan. We are making good progress in changing Campbell’s growth trajectory.”
As a result, the company revised its previous fiscal year 2013 guidance. Campbell now expects to grow sales at the upper end of the 10- to 12-percent range. This guidance includes the estimated impact of the Bolthouse Farms business and excludes the impact of acquisition transaction costs and restructuring charges. In fiscal year 2013, Campbell expects Bolthouse Farms to contribute approximately $750 million to sales, including the impact of the suspension of Campbell’s strategic share repurchase program.