CAMDEN, N.J. – The Campbell Soup Co. garnered $2.7 billion in net sales during the first quarter of its fiscal 2019, a 25% jump from its fourth quarter in 2018. This boost reflected Campbell’s acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance Inc. in March 2018, said Anthony DiSilvestro, senior vice president and CFO of Campbell, during the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Nov. 20.
“Snyder's-Lance sales performance was in line with our expectations, with the core brands achieving sales growth as measured by consumer takeaway,” DiSilvestro said. “Segment operating earnings increased 32% to $154 million, reflecting a 45-point benefit from the acquisition of Snyder's-Lance.”
Here are three snacking highlights from Campbell’s first-quarter 2019 …
1. Snyder's-Lance integration
Since the Snyder’s-Lance acquisition closed in March, Campbell has merged all of its Pepperidge Farm products, including Goldfish Crackers, Harvest Whole Wheat Bread and Golden Butter Crackers, with Snyder’s-Lance brands, such as Hanover, Lance and Cape Cod, into a U.S.-only division called Campbell Snacks. DilSilvestro said he foresees Campbell’s total revenue increasing by roughly $10 billion as a result of the Snyder's-Lance and Pacific Foods acquisitions, the latter of which occurred in July 2017.
“Both of these acquired businesses are performing in line with our expectations and represent significant long-term growth opportunities,” he said.
2. Soup innovation
Despite a slight decline in soup sales—the category dropped 6% in the past two quarters—Campbell remains optimistic regarding its growth. In its first quarter, the company debuted Well Yes sippable soups, an on-the-go soup snack, to reel new customers into the soup category. Keith McLoughlin, interim president and CEO of Campbell, said Well Yes has gained strong distribution and is already exceeding expectations.
“We're optimistic about soup, including greater operating discipline, improved merchandising and a new management team that is moving quickly and decisively to improve performance,” he said.
3. Continued success
The company’s snack brands have been highly successful in recent quarters. This period marked the 16th consecutive quarter of organic growth in Campbell’s Pepperidge Farm brand, said McLoughlin. Snyder's-Lance saw growth in six of its eight core brands in the first quarter: Lance, Kettle, Cape Cod, Pretzel Crisps, Emerald and Late July.
“We are confident in the long-term growth and margin expansion potential for Snyder's-Lance,” McLoughlin said.