General Mills income rises 18% in quarter

by Staff
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MINNEAPOLIS — Strong snack sales and improved results overseas helped drive an increase in earnings at General Mills, Inc. during the third quarter.

For the quarter ended Feb. 27, the company had income of $392.1 million, equal to 61c per share on the common stock, up 18% from $332.5 million, or 50c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year.
Sales for the quarter were $3,646.2 million, up 2% from $3,589.3 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

“Results for the third quarter showed acceleration in sales and profit growth following first-half performance that tracked generally in-line with strong prior-year levels,” said Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our plans call for the fourth quarter to show the highest earnings growth of the year, with increasing contributions from pricing actions we have taken to partially offset significant commodity cost increases. We remain on track to achieve our financial targets for the full 2011 fiscal year.”

During the quarter, the U.S. Retail segment had an operating profit of $533 million, down 1% from $540.6 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $2,513.7 million, down 1% from $2,541.9 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

The International segment had an operating profit of $68.8 million, up significantly from $18.8 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $688.4 million, up 8% from $640.6 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

The Bakeries and Foodservice segment had an operating profit of $66.7 million, up 34% from $49.7 million during the same quarter of the previous year. The segment had sales of $444.1 million, up 9% from $406.8 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

For the nine months ended Feb. 27, the company as a whole had earnings of $1,478.1 million, or $2.30 per share, up 12% from $1,318.6 million, or $2 per share, during the same period of the previous year. Sales for the nine months were $11,245.9 million, up 1% from $11,106.4 million during the same period of the previous year.

“The global operating environment and heightened commodity-market volatility are certainly challenging, yet our businesses are performing in line with our long-term model,” Mr. Powell said. “We expect to generate good sales and earnings growth in the final quarter of this year and meet the targets we set for fiscal 2011 in total. As we look forward to fiscal 2012, we currently anticipate that supply chain inflation will be higher than this year’s estimated 4% to 5% rate. Nevertheless, we expect to target another year of good business growth in 2012.”

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