For the full year, sales increased 2 percent to $2.193 billion. A breakdown of the change in sales follows:
- Volume and mix subtracted 1 percent
- Price and sales allowances added 5 percent
- Increased promotional spending subtracted 3 percent
- Currency added 1 percent
Operating earnings decreased 11 percent to $315 million compared with $355 million in the year-ago period. The decline was primarily due to cost inflation, increased promotional spending and higher advertising, partly offset by higher selling prices and productivity improvements.
International Simple Meals and Beverages
Sales for International Simple Meals and Beverages were $294 million for the fourth quarter, a decrease of 7 percent. Organic sales increased 1 percent. The change in sales reflected the following factors:
- Volume and mix added 2 percent
- Price and sales allowances added 3 percent
- Increased promotional spending subtracted 4 percent
- Currency subtracted 8 percent
Excluding the impact of currency, higher sales in Latin America, primarily beverage products, were partially offset by declines in Canada, while sales in Europe and in the Asia Pacific region were comparable to the year-ago period.
- In Canada, sales decreased primarily due to the negative impact of currency and lower beverage sales.
- In Europe, excluding the negative impact of currency, sales growth in France was offset by lower sales in Germany.
- In the Asia Pacific region, excluding the negative impact of currency, sales growth in Japan and Malaysia was offset by declines in Australian soup.
Operating earnings were $15 million compared with $24 million in the year-ago period. The decrease in operating earnings was primarily due to cost inflation and increased promotional spending, partly offset by higher selling prices.