• Full-year earnings drop on currency and charges
  • Net earnings down 5% on previous year
  • Campbell EPS growth for fiscal 2010

US food group Campbell Soup Co. posted a drop in full-year earnings today (11 September), hit by currency headwinds and charges.

Net earnings for the 12 months to 2 August dropped to US$736m from $1.16bn in the prior fiscal year.

Net sales were also down, by 5% to $7.58bn as a result of divestitures and acquisitions, and currency effects.

Looking ahead, Campbell said it expects fiscal 2010 adjusted earnings per share growth of between 5% and 7% with a rise in sales of 3% to 4%. It also said it "anticipates benefits from its ongoing efforts to drive product innovation and expand margins through reduced costs and increased productivity," offset in part by higher pension expenses.

"We delivered an outstanding year in our Asia Pacific business, produced a very solid year in Pepperidge Farm and continued to advance our plans in the emerging markets of Russia and China. We also improved our gross margins through a combination of pricing actions and productivity improvements and generated more than $1bn in cash flow from operations," said Douglas Conant, Campbell's president and CEO.

Check back later for more comment from Campbell after the company's conference call with analysts.