U.S. Simple Meals operating earnings increased 5 percent to $274 million compared with $260 million in the prior-year period. The increase in operating earnings was driven by earnings gains in U.S. Soup, partly offset by a decline in U.S. Sauces. For the segment, benefits from productivity improvements; higher selling prices net of related volume impacts; and lower marketing expenses were partly offset by cost inflation.
Global Baking and Snacking
Sales for Global Baking and Snacking were $574 million for the first quarter, an increase of 1 percent from a year ago. The change in sales reflected the following factors:
- Volume and mix added 2 percent
- Price and sales allowances added 2 percent
- Increased promotional spending subtracted 3 percent
Further details of sales results included the following:
- Sales of “Pepperidge Farm” products increased, driven by volume gains and higher selling prices, partially offset by increased promotional spending.
- In cookies and crackers, sales increases were driven by solid gains in “Goldfish” snack crackers and the launch of “Jingos!,” partly offset by declines in cookies.
- Bakery sales declined. Bakery sales were negatively impacted by increased promotional spending in response to competitive activity.
- Sales at Arnott’s increased primarily due to double-digit gains in Indonesia. Sales in Australia were comparable to the prior year.
- Volume and mix subtracted 1 percent
- Price and sales allowances added 3 percent
- Currency subtracted 3 percent
- In Canada, higher selling prices contributed to sales growth.
- In Europe, sales declines in Germany were partially offset by gains in France.
- In the Asia Pacific region, sales increased due to strong growth in Japan and Malaysia.