Campbell Highlights U.S. Soup Innovation, Emerging Markets Expansion at Investor Meeting
Reiterates Full Year Fiscal 2009 Guidance: Adjusted EPS to Exceed 5 to 7 Percent Range, Excluding Impact of Currency
CAMDEN, N.J., Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) today will outline innovations for its upcoming fiscal year at an investor meeting at its Maxton, N.C. plant. Campbell’s management will highlight plans for its U.S. soup business, with an emphasis on innovation, wellness and value, and also will provide an overview of its International businesses, with a focus on progress in Russia and China. A webcast of the presentation can be accessed at www.campbellsoupcompany.com.
Craig Owens, Campbell’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, will open the meeting with a recap of the company’s year-to-date fiscal 2009 performance.
Owens said, “Year to date, fiscal 2009 has been a successful year for Campbell, especially considering the unprecedented upheaval in global financial markets. In our U.S. soup business, we have delivered one of the best top-line performances in many years. We’ve introduced market-leading innovations with the successful launch of several new products, making significant gains in the ready-to-serve segment with our ’Campbell’s Select Harvest’ line and improving our position in the highly competitive broth segment. In our Pepperidge Farm business, we have continued to grow the ’Goldfish’ franchise, moving that brand to the number three position in the U.S. cracker market. Internationally, we have delivered strong performance in Asia Pacific. We also have advanced our emerging markets plans by forging a long-term partnership in Russia that will provide access to the best distribution system in Russia for our products. We have achieved all of this and more in an extremely challenging economic environment.”
Denise Morrison, President, North America Soup, Sauces and Beverages, will describe plans to enhance Campbell’s position in the $83 billion Simple Meals category through the strength of the Campbell brand and by further increasing the relevance of soup through continued innovation, including:
* “Campbell’s Chunky” soups will undergo the most comprehensive series of enhancements in its 40-year history. The soups will feature “better for you” credentials now with 24 varieties made with lean meat and 30 items containing a full serving of vegetables.
* In the wellness arena, Campbell’s iconic Tomato soup, which is enjoyed by 25 million Americans at least once a week, will feature the same great taste with a major sodium reduction of 32 percent to 480 mg per serving. Campbell will reposition “Healthy Request” soups in the heart health space by further reducing the sodium levels to 410 mg per serving and featuring the American Heart Association certification on a redesigned label. Both products will be available in September.
* Building on the successful launch of the “Select Harvest” line, Campbell will add five new Mediterranean-style varieties this fall, including Greek-style Minestrone and Zesty Tomato Bisque.
Morrison said, “Campbell’s soups provide the ideal simple meal, especially as shoppers remain focused on value. We are committed to being people’s first choice for affordable and nourishing meals by continuing to innovate faster, better, more completely and more uniquely than any other company in the category. For instance, we have led the food industry in introducing lower sodium products and will continue to set the gold standard in the lower sodium journey.”
Morrison continued, “America loves ’Campbell’s’ soup. In fact, more than eight out of ten consumers indicate that ’Campbell’s’ is America’s favorite soup. And that’s why retailers love ’Campbell’s’ soups too. Campbell features three of the top ten shelf-stable grocery food items with its iconic condensed soups: Chicken Noodle, Tomato and Cream of Mushroom.”
Sean Connolly, President, Campbell USA, will describe additional innovations in Campbell’s U.S. soup business, including:
* Campbell will introduce five new condensed light soups to tap into this fast-growing segment of the category.
* As consumers continue to eat more meals at home, Campbell will increase its emphasis on value with a focus on money-saving meals and in-store merchandising. Campbell plans to enhance its Campbell’s Kitchen web site (www.campbellskitchen.com) to help people find and prepare affordable, tasty and easy meals using Campbell’s products.
Connolly said, “We are excited about the upcoming year and plan to continue to build momentum within our Campbell USA business by driving growth in our key platforms of simple meals and healthy beverages.”
Larry McWilliams, President, Campbell International, will provide an overview of the company’s international business with a focus on progress in the emerging markets of Russia and China.
McWilliams said, “We see a world of extraordinary value in soup, especially in the emerging markets of Russia and China, which account for nearly 22 percent of the world’s population. The opportunity before us is to commercialize the enormous soup consumption behavior in these markets. We are confident that we have the cultural insights in each of these markets and can build meaningful relationships with consumers as we have always done the world over.”
McWilliams will describe key initiatives for 2010 in emerging markets, including:
* The launch of an expanded portfolio of products in Campbell’s existing Chinese markets with an eye toward geographic expansion in 2011.
* The successful integration of Campbell’s Russian operations with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, Campbell’s distribution partner, and the expansion of “Campbell’s Domashnaya Klassika” into national distribution throughout Russia.
Campbell is preparing for expansion in Russia based on the recent distribution agreement with Coca-Cola Hellenic. Campbell plans to increase points of distribution and the variety of its “Domashnaya Klassika” line in fiscal 2010. The Russian portfolio will increase from three varieties in 1,500 stores in Moscow in the current year to 14 varieties in more than 32,000 stores in 100 cities in fiscal 2010.
Fiscal 2009 Guidance
On a currency neutral basis, the company continues to expect to deliver sales growth, excluding the negative impact of one less week in the fiscal year and divestitures, within its long-term target range of between 3 and 4 percent; and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) growth slightly below its long-term growth target of between 5 and 6 percent, reflecting the impact of one less week, higher marketing spending and increased investment spending in Russia and China. On a currency neutral basis, Campbell expects growth in adjusted net earnings per share (EPS) to exceed the 5 to 7 percent range from the fiscal 2008 adjusted base of $2.09.
The company expects its fiscal 2009 sales, EBIT and EPS growth rates to be negatively impacted by approximately 5 percentage points as a result of currency translation.
Campbell’s fiscal year ends on August 2, 2009. The company will report full-year results on September 11, 2009.
This release includes certain non-GAAP measures as defined by SEC rules. A reconciliation of those measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is attached to the release.
About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup, baked snacks, and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including “Campbell’s,” “Pepperidge Farm,” “Arnott’s,” and “V8.” For more information on the company, visit Campbell’s web site at www.campbellsoup.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This release contains “forward-looking statements” that reflect the company’s current expectations about its future plans and performance, including statements concerning the impact of marketing investments and strategies, new product introductions and innovation, quality improvements, currency translation and portfolio strategies, including divestitures, on sales, earnings, and margins. These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates that could be inaccurate and which are subject to risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause the company’s actual results to vary materially from those anticipated or expressed in any forward-looking statement include (1) the impact of strong competitive responses to the company’s efforts to leverage its brand power in the market; (2) the risks associated with trade and consumer acceptance of the company’s initiatives; (3) the company’s ability to realize projected cost savings and benefits; (4) the company’s ability to manage changes to its business processes; (5) the increased significance of certain of the company’s key trade customers; (6) the impact of fluctuations in the supply or costs of energy and raw and packaging materials; (7) the risks associated with portfolio changes; (8) the uncertainties of litigation; (9) the impact of changes in currency exchange rates, tax rates, interest rates, debt and equity markets, inflation rates, economic conditions and other external factors; (10) the impact of unforeseen business disruptions in one or more of the company’s markets due to political instability, civil disobedience, armed hostilities, natural disasters or other calamities; and (11) other factors described in the company’s most recent Form 10-K and subsequent Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any obligation or intent to update the forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.
Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Fiscal Year Ended August 3, 2008
Campbell Soup Company uses certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission in certain communications. These non-GAAP financial measures are measures of performance not defined by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and should be considered in addition to, not in lieu of, GAAP reported measures.
Items Impacting Net Earnings Per Share
The company believes that financial information excluding certain transactions not considered to be part of the ongoing business improves the comparability of year-to-year results. Consequently, the company believes that investors may be able to better understand its earnings results if these transactions are excluded from the results.
The following items impacted net earnings:
1. In the second quarter of fiscal 2008, the company recorded a non-cash tax benefit of $13 million ($0.03 per share) in earnings from continuing operations from the favorable resolution of a state tax contingency in the United States.
2. In fiscal 2008, the company recognized a pre-tax gain of $698 million ($462 million after tax or $1.21 per share) in earnings from discontinued operations from the sale of the Godiva Chocolatier business.
3. In fiscal 2008, the company announced initiatives to improve operational efficiency and long-term profitability, including selling certain salty snack food brands and assets in Australia, closing certain production facilities in Australia and Canada, and streamlining the company’s management structure. For the year ended August 3, 2008, the company recorded pre-tax restructuring charges of $175 million and $7 million of expenses in cost of products sold (aggregate impact of $107 million after tax or $0.28 per share) related to these initiatives.
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