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Campbell's Net Falls 5% as Soup Sales Decline

Wall Street Journal - Nov 22, 2011

Campbell Soup Co.'s fiscal first-quarter earnings fell 5%, though its soup business showed some signs of stabilizing, as profits for the division rose due to higher prices, less promotions and delayed advertising that coincides with the soup season.

Campbell's earnings beat expectations, although revenue came in lower-than-expected, with its beverage business struggling on heightened competition from new entrants to the vegetable juice category. Campbell also backed its outlook for the year.

Campbell is trying to fix up its soup business with a combination of more-efficient advertising and the introduction of tastier, more relevant products for today's consumer, like a new line of Slow Kettle soups with more-sophisticated flavors including Portobello Mushroom and Madeira Bisque. It's also putting less focus on low-sodium soups, whose introduction by Campbell failed to stoke sales.

The turnaround will take time. Campbell, under new Chief Executive Denise Morrison, is merely trying to right its soup business for the current soup season, which it hopes will lead to profitable growth down the road. And the efforts will face competition from the likes of General Mills Inc.'s Progresso soups and private label, which have gained market share at Campbell's expense.

Read Full Article from Wall Street Journal

- Posted: 2011-11-22 10:32:08

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