Campbell Soup seeks $10B in annual revenue in next 5 years

Campbell Soup bought Bolthouse Farms, a producer of fresh juices, to gain foothold in supermarkets' refrigerated cases.
Campbell Soup bought Bolthouse Farms, a producer of fresh juices, to gain foothold in supermarkets' refrigerated cases.
Posted: July 22, 2014

Campbell Soup Co. officials told analysts Monday that the Camden food company aspires to reach $10 billion in annual revenue within the next five years.

That is an aggressive target for Campbell, which has about $8 billion in annual revenue now.

Achieving it is likely to require acquisitions, given that Campbell has been failing recently to match its goal of increasing revenue by percent to 4 percent a year, without the help of acquisitions.

The purchase of three faster-growing companies in the last two years - Bolthouse Farms carrots and juices, cookie-maker Kelsen Group, and Plum Organics children's foods - has helped build momentum, said Anthony DiSilvestro, the company's chief financial officer.

"As we look externally, we think more acquisitions can help do the same type of thing," he said.

In the meantime, Campbell announced a blitz of more than 200 new products for fiscal 2015, which starts in August.

Among the products announced at Campbell's annual analyst day were some in new territory for the company, including protein bars and a new line of products for children, including "Fruit Tubes," under the Bolthouse Farms brand.

But one analyst wondered if the company was spreading itself too thin.

"They are all small bets. There is nothing here that is going to be a game-changer, something that fundamentally transforms the portfolio," said Brian Spillane, an equity analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Denise Morrison, who became Campbell's chief executive three years ago, defended the strategy.

"If one takes off like a rocket, we'll put more money down," Morrison said.


hbrubaker@phillynews.com

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@InqBrubaker

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