General Mills details plans for growth

by World Grain Staff
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, U.S. — General Mills executives discussed plans to fuel growth in the U.S. and around the world in the company’s new fiscal year at a meeting with investors on July 10 at the New York Stock Exchange.

“Our goal is to deliver consistent, high-quality sales and earnings growth,” General Mills Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Powell told investors. “Our strategies are designed to generate balanced growth across our portfolio.”

General Mills expects fiscal 2013 to be another year of good growth, said Powell, with sales and profit increases on its base business and contributions from newly acquired operations, including Yoplait International, Parampara in India and Food Should Taste Good in the U.S. The company also signed an agreement in May to acquire Yoki Alimentos in Brazil, which is expected to close in the first half of fiscal 2013.

General Mills will continue its focus on Holistic Margin Management (HMM). Over the last three years, supply chain HMM projects alone generated $1 billion of cost savings, and Powell said the company expects to generate an additional $3 billion of HMM productivity between now and the year 2020.

“Our leading brands are staples in many U.S. households, because they offer great taste, nutrition and convenience — all at good value,” said Ian Friendly, executive vice-president, chief operating officer, U.S. Retail. “Today, a higher percentage of meals are made at home — or carried from home — than at any time during the last decade. So demand for packaged food products remains high.”

Chris O’Leary, executive vice-president, chief operating officer, International, discussed General Mills’ continuing evolution into a truly global food company.

“Ten years ago, just 10% of General Mills’ sales were generated outside of the U.S. Today, international sales, including our proportionate share of joint venture sales, represent 30% of General Mills’ total worldwide sales.

“Our future growth plans remain focused on five global categories — ready-to-eat cereal, super-premium ice cream, convenient meals, wholesome snack bars and yogurt. In fiscal 2013, we want to generate growth in our core, developed markets, while expanding our presence in emerging markets worldwide.”

Within its international business, China is leading General Mills’ international growth, driven by its four key brands there: Häagen-Dazs super-premium ice cream, Wanchai Ferry frozen convenience meals, Bugles and Trix wholesome snack products.

“By 2020, the number of middle-class and affluent families across China is expected to double — to 200 million households — creating a growing market of potential General Mills consumers,” said Gary Chu, president of General Mills Greater China.

The company said it plans to reach $900 million in sales for its wholly owned businesses in China by 2015.

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