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New items fuels 2Q success at General Mills

Greek yogurt is all the rage in the dairy aisle and General Mill’s Yoplait brand of the popular product and other new items made meaningful contribution to the company’s second quarter sales.

General Mills singled out new products such as Yoplait Greek and Greek 100 calorie yogurts, Nature Valley protein bars, Peanut Butter Multigrain Cheerios and Progresso Recipe Starters sauces as making the strongest contributions to sales during the second quarter ended November 25. Other products making meaningful contributions included Lucky Charms and Chex cereals, Fiber One 90 calorie snack bars, Totino’s frozen snacks and Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls.

The company said its total sales increase 6% to nearly $4.9 billion and operating profits increased nearly 10% to $959 million and net earnings increased 21.8% to $542 million.

"Our U.S. Retail segment posted gains in pound volume, net sales and operating profit," said Ken Powell, General Mill’s chairman and CEO. "The Bakeries and Foodservice segment generated strong double-digit operating profit growth. And our International segment recorded good sales and profit growth for established businesses in addition to the incremental contributions from Yoki and Yoplait Canada."

Sales at the U.S. Retail segment increased 2% to nearly $3 billion, but operating profits increase 9% to $723 million.

Looking ahead, the company expects inflation in the 2% to 3% range with this past summer’s drought expected to modestly increase second-half inflation rates.

"As we move into the second half, the global operating environment remains challenging," Powell said. "We are working to build on our good performance year-to-date. We’re launching a promising slate of new products in our core U.S. market. And we have strong levels of advertising and in-store merchandising planned to support new and existing products in markets worldwide."