Campbell Soup Company has reported net earnings for the second quarter to 29 January of US$254m, against $235m in the same period the previous year. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter rose from $0.57 to $0.61.

Sales for the second quarter rose by 3% to $2.28bn, a figure which had been adversely affected by currency exchange factors.

There were a number of accounting changes during the first half of the year which affected comparisons. Campbell said that had all stock-based compensation been expensed in the corresponding quarter last year, net earnings for that quarter would have been $227m and diluted earnings per share would have been $0.55, so on an adjusted basis second-quarter EPS rose by 11%.

US sales of soup, sauces and beverages rose by 6% to $1,018bn in the second quarter, while operating earnings rose to $242m from $216m. However, international sales of soups and sauces fell by 4% to $483m in the second quarter, though currency effects were responsible for a large part of the decline.

“Our solid performance this quarter was consistent with our expectations,” said president and CEO Douglas R. Conant. “Our top-line growth was driven by strong increases across our US soup business. For the first six months, we are pleased with our earnings performance. We continued to improve our profit margins through pricing and productivity, which more than offset cost inflation, and enabled us to drive strong earnings growth in a challenging environment.”

Net sales for the first half-year rose by 2% to $4.39bn. The company said that adjusted net earnings for the first half would be $496m compared to $451m the year before. Adjusted earnings per share would have risen by 10% to $1.20.