Campbell Soup posted a 17% rise in quarterly sales helped by the weak dollar, which boosted the value of sales overseas, as well as improved prices and a reduction in promotional spending.

For the three months ended April 27 sales jumped to $1.6bn from $1.4bn last year while pre-tax profit rose to $190m from $146m.

The US group said microwaveable packaging for its Chunky and Select products, and the portable Soup at Hand - designed to capture the on the go market - had helped growth.

For nearly two years, the company has been restructuring to improve recipes of its flagship red-and-white-labelled soups.

As part of its plans for fiscal 2004 Campbell said it was to introduce a number of new initiatives including a new line of ready-to-serve soups - Campbell’s Kitchen Classics - as well as adding seven new varieties to its Soup-at Hand line-up.

Furthermore, the company said it was to introduce easy-open lids on its entire condensed line by the end of this summer.