Campbell Soup Co. announced today (18 February) that its revenue and earnings slid during the first half of its fiscal year, causing the US soup giant to cut its annual forecasts for sales and profits.

The US soup giant saw net earnings for the six months to 30 January fall to US$518m, or $1.53 per share, compared with $563m, or $1.61 per share, a year earlier. EBIT fell 8% to $803m, while net sales were down 1% to $4.29bn, the company added.

Spending on promotional activity and price cuts reduced revenues by 2%, although currency exchange added 1% in sales value.

Margins at the group slid to 40.3%, compared with 41.2% last year. The fall was the result of increased promotional spending and cost inflation. Nevertheless, Campbell insisted that these factors had been partially offset by productivity improvements and a more favourable product mix.

Warning of an increasingly competitive environment, particularly in the US soup sector, Campbell lowered its outlook for the full year. The company said that it now expects net sales to fall in a range of 1% to negative 1%, while EBIT is expected to fall by 3-5% and earnings per share is likely to drop 1-3%. Previously, the company said it expected earnings for the year to be up by 2-4%.

Campbell’s shares fell 4.1% in pre-market trading to $33.50.

Click here for the full financial release, or check back later for just-food’s post conference call insights into Campbell’s first half.