Campbell said it earned $182 million in the quarter, down from $184 million a year ago. Excluding special items, earnings were flat, at 62 cents a share, easily topping analysts' expectations for earnings of 52 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Revenue slipped 3.6% to $1.9 billion, slightly missing estimates. The results included $11 million in restructuring charges.
Campbell president and chief executive officer Denise Morrison attributed the sales decline primarily to unfavorable currency and the impact of retailer inventory movements on the company's U.S. soup business.
Morrison said in a statement, "Our focus on gross margin performance began to pay dividends, as we expanded margins in a challenging environment. In addition to our productivity improvements and moderating inflation, we achieved net price realization by reducing promotional spending and taking pricing actions on the core businesses. We also made progress in addressing many of the supply chain issues we faced in the first half. Most importantly, several of our businesses delivered strong operating earnings."
The company announced a cost-cutting plan in February that aims to reduce annual costs by $200 million.
Morrison added, "In the quarter, we also made progress against our strategic enterprise redesign, including our cost reduction initiative. We believe that a strategy that focuses on driving growth, aggressively reducing costs and reinvesting a portion of the savings in the areas of our business with the greatest growth potential is the best way to create shareholder value over time."