Various flavors of potato chips sit on a shelf at the Kettle Foods Inc. production facility in Salem, Oregon.

Meg Rouseau | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Campbell Soup on Wednesday lowered its sales forecast for fiscal 2020, hit by the sale of its European chips business, and reported quarterly sales below expectations.

The 150-year-old company is focusing on its mainstream soup division by introducing new recipes that contain less preservatives and has divested its international snacks and fresh-food brands.

In October, Campbell sold its European chips business, which included UK-based Kettle Foods, to Valeo Foods for 66 million pounds.

The soup maker now expects 2020 net sales in the range of a 1% fall to a 1% gain, compared with its prior forecast of a 1% to 3% rise. The latest forecast includes a 2% fall in sales due to the divestiture of the chips business.

In the first quarter, net sales fell about 1% to $2.18 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $2.19 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The decline was mainly due to weakness in the company’s meals and beverages category that includes V8 juices and Prego pasta sauces.

However, adjusted profit came in at 78 cents per share in the three months ended Oct. 27, 7 cents above expectations.

The Camden, New Jersey-based company’s shares, which have risen 44.2% this year, were down 2.3% before the opening bell.

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