MINNEAPOLIS — The board of directors of General Mills, Inc. has raised its quarterly dividend rate to 49c per share from 47c per share, effective with the dividend payable Feb. 1, 2010, to shareholders of record as of Jan. 11, 2010. With the increase, General Mills said dividends paid common shareholders in fiscal 2010 are expected to total $1.92 per share, up 12% from dividends of $1.72 per share paid in fiscal 2009.

This is the second quarterly dividend rate increase declared during fiscal 2010. The prior quarterly rate of 47c per share was established with the August 2009 payment.

"We thank shareholders for their investment in General Mills," said Ken Powell, chairman and chief executive officer. "Our company strongly believes in returning cash to shareholders through dividends, and increasing those dividends as our business grows. Over the past five fiscal years, General Mills shareholder dividends have grown at a 9% compound rate. Our leading food brands are performing well despite the challenging economic environment, and today’s announcement reflects this fundamental business strength."