US food company Campbell Soup has reported a fall in quarterly earnings due to charges related to restructuring.

The company posted net earnings of US$59m, or 14 cents per share, for the fourth quarter to 1 August, compared to $74m, or 18 cents per share, in the year-ago period. This year's fourth quarter result includes a $6m after-tax gain from the sale of an idle manufacturing site in California and a $22m after-tax charge related to the restructuring.

For the quarter, net sales decreased 2% to $1.43bn, as higher volume and mix, currency effects and price increases were offset by increased promotional spending and the fact that there was one less week in the quarter. Excluding the impact of one less week in the quarter compared to fiscal 2003, net sales were up 5%.

"Our sales on a comparable basis in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 were strong and we have good momentum as we begin the new fiscal year. We have demonstrated that we can grow the top line across our key segments, including soup, beverages, biscuits and confectionery. As anticipated, in the US our investment this year in quality, convenience packaging, and more focused marketing helped us to maintain substantial growth in our ready-to-serve soup business and to moderate the decline in condensed soup sales," said president and CEO Douglas Conant.

"The restructuring we announced in June will enable us to achieve tighter control of costs and will help to improve margins. While we still have challenges to address, our plans to deliver quality growth will enable us to win with our customers and consumers in 2005 and beyond," Conant added.