Financial results

Campbell Soup CEO retires as sales fall flat following Snyder’s-Lance acquisition

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Keith McLoughlin has been named Campbell's interim CEO following Denise Morrison's retirement. Pic: Campbell
Keith McLoughlin has been named Campbell's interim CEO following Denise Morrison's retirement. Pic: Campbell
Campbell Soup CEO, Denise Morrison, has announced her retirement as the company reports a $393m loss on sales of $2.13bn for the quarter ended April 29, compared with a profit a year ago.

Keith McLoughlin, who has been a Campbell board member since 2016, has been named interim CEO.

He will remain a member of the board to facilitate the transition in management while recently elevated chief operating officer Luca Mignini focuses on the integration of Snyder’s-Lance.

Morrison has worked at Campbell for the past 15 years and had “helped to enhance the long-term growth potential”​ of the company, said Les Vinney, chairman of the board.

Double-digit growth in biscuits and snacks

According to Anthony DiSilvestro, Campbell's chief financial officer, although organic sales in the quarter were stable, performance was below expectation.

Net sales of the Kettle Chips maker increased 15%, reflecting the impact of the recently completed acquisitions of Snyder’s-Lance​ and Pacific Foods. 

Excluding the benefit from the acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance and the favorable impact of currency translation, organic sales increased 1% primarily driven by gains in Pepperidge Farm snacks, reflecting continued growth in Goldfish crackers and Pepperidge Farm cookies,”​ he said.

The company’s gross margin decreased from 35.9% to 29.1% in Q3.

“In the third quarter, we made some progress against our key priorities. We completed the Snyder’s-Lance acquisition, substantially expanding our portfolio in the faster growing snacking categories,"​ said DiSilvestro, adding the decline was primarily caused by “cost inflation and higher supply chain costs, as well as higher promotional spending.

"Looking ahead, we will be reviewing all aspects of our strategic plans and portfolio composition. We anticipate that our review, which will take several months to complete, will lead to changes designed to improve our operating performance and create long-term shareholder value.

"We plan to discuss the outcome of this review when we report fourth-quarter and full-year results in late August,” ​said DiSilvestro. 

Based on third-quarter results and outlook for the balance of the year, Campbell lowered its fiscal 2018 earnings guidance.

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