General Mills profit falls 14%, sales climb 9%

by World Grain Staff
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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Higher ingredient and fuel costs contributed to a 14% decline in earnings for General Mills, Inc. during the first quarter.

For the quarter ended Aug. 28, the company had earnings of $405.6 million, equal to 63¢ per share on the common stock, which compared with earnings of $472.1 million, or 73¢ per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $3.8 million, up 9% from $3.5 billion during the same quarter of the previous year.

“Our net sales grew 6% before the Yoplait acquisition, with gains across all three of our business segments,” said Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer. “This reflects good net price realization, resilient consumer demand for our established products, and good early response to new items launched during the quarter. This start to the year has General Mills on track to achieve the key growth targets we’ve set for fiscal 2012.”

Operating profit for the U.S. Retail segment during the quarter was $585.2 million, down 5% from $614.6 million during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the segment were $2.51 billion, up 3% from $2.44 billion.

The Bakeries and Foodservice segment posted operating profit of $61.4 million, down 15% from $72.5 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $481 million, up 13% from $426.7 million.

The company also reaffirmed its full-year fiscal 2012 guidance of earnings per share of $2.59 to $2.61, excluding market-to-market effects and integration costs for the Yoplait acquisition.
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