General Mills sales slide as cereal, yogurt struggle in US

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills said its sales fell in the latest quarter as its yogurts, cereals and soups suffered declines in the U.S.

The Minneapolis company also blamed the “challenging macro environment” for sales that did not meet its own expectations. The maker of Yoplait yogurt, Cheerios and Progresso soups said it was making a number of tweaks to its products to improve results for the remainder of its fiscal year.

For the three months ended Aug. 28, an increase in its domestic snacks business was more than offset by declines in other areas. Yogurt fell 15 percent, and cereals fell 4 percent. Like other major packaged food makers, General Mills is looking to smaller, newer organic and natural brands for growth as people increasingly reach for options they feel are more wholesome.

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For its fiscal first-quarter, General Mills earned $409 million, or 67 cents per share. After adjusting for restructuring and non-recurring costs, earnings were 78 cents per share. That was two cents better than Wall Street expected, as the company cut costs to improve performance.

Total revenue declined 7 percent to $3.91 billion in the quarter. Analysts on average expected $3.9 billion, according the Zacks Investment Research. After adjusting for the impact of foreign exchange rates and divestitures, the company said sales were down 4 percent in the quarter.

General Mills shares slipped 58 cents to $64.12 on morning trading Wednesday.