As fiscal 2004 began, Doug Conant, the President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company could take pride in the results of his 3-year transformation plan instituted in fiscal 2001 to revitalize the company. The key initiatives of the plan were to restore revenue and profitability growth and stimulate shareholder wealth.
Conant, who became President and CEO in January of 2001, called the plan, “the single most comprehensive commitment to revitalization ever undertaken in the 132-year history of Campbell Soup Company.”
The financial results achieved in fiscal 2002, the first year of the plan, were a mixed bag. Although net sales grew 6% to $6.1 billion, net earnings declined 19% to $525 million. This decline was driven by a 21% ($183 million) increase in marketing and sales spending to revitalize Campbell’s strong brands.
However, in fiscal 2003, net sales grew 9% to $6.7 billion (currency and acquisitions accounted for 5% of the increase, 3% of the increase came from mix and volume and 1% from higher selling prices.) Net earnings grew 14% to $595 million.
The transformation plan also impacted Campbell performance on Wall Street. From June 2001, to July 2003, the stock price had risen from $22 to $26/share. In 1997, the stock had traded at a high of $67/share.
Schnorbus, Roger. "Campbell Soup Company in 2004 (A)", Virginia: Richmond, 2004.