General Mills: US Retail Is Leading The Charge

General Mills (GIS) reported better than expected performance from its US Retail segment this morning. Not only did this segment expand margins, it also grew sales by 5.8%. Overall GIS earnings per share came in at $1.28 on an adjusted basis, up substantially from $0.96 last year. While overall sales, including the international business, were flat, margins expanded for the company overall despite a 16% increase in advertising.

Such performance led the company to boost expected fiscal year 2010 earnings to $4.40 to $4.45 per share. If achieved, this would be the highest earnings level ever for the company, and substantially higher than even 2008’s recent $3.52 per share.

It’s encouraging to see a company investing in growth, growing, and with a US Retail segment leading the charge.

Ken Powell, CEO: “We’re very pleased with this start to the year. We’re seeing continuing strong consumer demand for our products… In addition, our commodity and fuel costs for the quarter were below year-ago levels, helping us to recover margin that was lost in the same quarter last year. These factors drove first-quarter earnings growth that was well ahead of our expectations. As a result we’ve raised our EPS targets for the full year.”

General Mills Results
General Mills Results

Read the full earnings release here.

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