The sale of Campbell Soup Co.’s Godiva chocolate business lifted the group’s third-quarter profits but the US firm’s underlying earnings fell on higher ingredient costs.


Campbell posted earnings of US$523m, up from $217m reported for the comparable period of last year.


However, this result included the $850m sale of Campbell’s Godiva brand to Turkish conglomerate Yildiz Holding. After taxes, Campbell netted a $467m gain on the sale.


Excluding one-off items, Campbell said its earnings were $165m, down 7.8% from adjusted earnings of $179m last year.


Revenue rose to $1.9bn from $1.8bn a year ago but the company said margins were hit by higher ingredients and energy costs.


“While third quarter adjusted net earnings were below last year, we anticipate a strong finish to our fiscal year,” Douglas R. Conant, Campbell’s president and CEO, said.


The company reiterated its expectations of profit growth of 5-7% for the fiscal year.