Exceptional Year at GM

June 30/Minneapolis/just-food global news -- U.S. food group General Mills hailed an "exceptional year" for the company after a 17% rise in annual earnings.

The owner of Cheerios cereals posted a 17.3% rise in net earnings to $1.53 billion for the year through May 30. The improved bottom line as segment operating profit grew 8% to $2.9 billion, thanks in part to lower costs.

Chairman and CEO Ken Powell said, "This was an exceptional year for our company. We achieved broad-based sales growth and expanded gross margin, which allowed us to invest at above-planned levels in media support and selling capabilities. And our 16% EPS increase significantly exceeded the high single-digit rate we target in our long-term growth model."

Turnover was up 0.7% to $14.79 billion, with volumes flat, but price and mix rising 1%. For the fourth quarter of the year, General Mills fell 40.9% to $211.9 million, with sales down 2% to $3.6 billion.

Revenues were affected by one less selling week in the quarter and disposals.

From the July 1, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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