Campbell Soup Company today (Monday) reported net earnings increased to $302m in the first quarter ended 30 October 2005 versus $230m in the prior year.

Sales rose 1% to $2,110m, following a strong year-ago quarter when sales increased 10%.

"Our plan to drive quality growth is on track," said president and CEO Douglas R Conant. "This quarter, although our ready-to-serve soup sales were significantly weaker due to a change in our pricing and promotional activity from a year ago, we continued to improve our profit margin while laying the foundation for driving top-line growth for the balance of the year, consistent with our goal. I am confident in the plans we have in place to drive growth across our portfolio, including US Soup.