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Dr Pepper Snapple Group notes rise in EPS in Q3

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas Dr Pepper Snapple Group Thursday reported third-quarter 2009 earnings of $151 million, or 59 cents per share, a 30.5% increase from the year-ago period.

The beverage maker also reported that its earnings per share were 54 cents, compared with 45 cents last year, excluding separation-related costs and restructuring items. Year-to-date, the company reported earnings of $1.73 per share, a 42.9% increase over the prior-year period. Year-to-date earnings per share were $1.53, compared with $1.46 excluding distribution agreement changes, separation-related costs, and restructuring items.

For the quarter, however, reported net sales were down 4% to $1.4 billion. The company noted that pricing action taken this year, coupled with 4% volume growth were offset by higher sales of carbonated soft drink concentrate and value juices.

Reported income from operations was $272 million, compared with $213 million in the prior-year period.

DPS president and CEO Larry Young said, “While the economy is showing some signs of recovery, it’s still too early to see this translate into higher beverage sales. For the quarter, liquid refreshment beverage trends remained negative. Against this backdrop, we once again demonstrated the power of our portfolio and the flexibility of our routes to market, posting solid top-line and strong bottom-line growth. A year and a half into our life as a public company, we’re proud of what we have accomplished so far. Our priorities and strategies remain unchanged and continue to support long-term sustainable growth.”

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Campbell’s debuts first-ever N.Y.C. billboard

BY Allison Cerra

CAMDEN, N.J. Campbell Soup Co. has debuted the first-ever Times Square billboard in the company’s 140-year history.

The billboard, located at a subway station on 7th Avenue and 53rd Street in New York City, shows a child slurping a large bowl of chicken noodle soup. The advertisement, Campbell’s said, marks the 75th anniversary of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup.

“We wanted to remind people how the soup they love more than any other is full of the stuff they love most,” said Eric Christianson, Campbell’s condensed soups business director. “Our television commercial, ‘Slurp’, as well as our print ads use the billboard and giant noodle imagery to drive home the value we offer in each can. It just made sense to bring that same idea to life with a real billboard above one of the busiest intersections in the world.”

The out-of-home ad consists of a mesh billboard featuring the image of a 27-ft. wide bowl of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, a 54-ft. noodle that winds out of the bowl and then rises three stories up the side of the building to a window unit featuring a mannequin of a young boy slurping the noodle from the bowl. The billboard will be seen by an estimated 1.5 million people walking along 7th Avenue at the 53rd Street intersection during a four-week period.

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Relaxation beverage Drank takes on Minnesota, Wisconsin markets

BY Allison Cerra

ST. CLOUD, Minn. Innovative Beverage Group has entered into an agreement with Bernick’s Beverages & Vending, a distributor for the Pepsi family of brands, and MillerCoors family of brands, to distribute its relaxation beverage.

Drank will now be distributed throughout Minnesota, including the Twin Cities area, and parts of Wisconsin.

“We are continuously looking at ways to expand our beverage portfolio with products that add value to our customers,” said Dean Bernick, CEO of Bernick’s Beverages & Vending. “We are extremely excited about Drank because, for us, it is a new category of beverages, the relaxation category. There is a demand for this product, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to fill that demand.”

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