Campbell Soup Company has reported unchanged net earnings for the quarter ended 30 January.

Net earnings were $235 million, the same level as in the equivalent period a year earlier. Net sales in the quarter rose to $2.223 billion, compared with $2.1 billion in the year earlier period.

“At the halfway mark in the year, we are pleased with our overall company performance,” said Douglas R. Conant, Campbell’s president and CEO. Our US Soup business increased sales 6% for the first half of fiscal 2005, with condensed, ready-to-serve, and broth all experiencing growth.”

“We are especially pleased with the strong sales growth in condensed soup, which is up 7 percent for the first half, the best performance in many years,” he said. The cost of investment in soup and materials inflation had hit US soup profit margins, but he expected a recently announced price increase, which takes effect at the end of February, to help import profitability.