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GENERAL MILLS EPS UP 15 PERCENT IN FISCAL 1992, EXCLUDING UNUSUAL ITEMS

 GENERAL MILLS EPS UP 15 PERCENT IN FISCAL 1992,
 EXCLUDING UNUSUAL ITEMS
 MINNEAPOLIS, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- General Mills (NYSE: GIS) today announced record financial results for the fiscal year ended May 31, 1992. Earnings per share from continuing operations before unusual items were $3.05, up 15 percent from $2.66 reported in 1991. After-tax earnings grew 16 percent to $505.6 million. Sales increased 9 percent to reach $7.78 billion. Excluding revenues of operations disposed of, sales grew 11 percent.
 The above profit figures exclude an unusual net gain in fiscal 1991 of 16 cents per share from the sales of businesses and miscellaneous restructuring charges. They also exclude a gain of 5-cents per share from discontinued operations in 1991. In fiscal 1992, a 6-cents per share charge to discontinued operations is similarly excluded. This charge relates primarily to a potential lease adjustment being negotiated with the R.H. Macy Company under bankruptcy law for New York City office space previously occupied by a fashion company once owned by General Mills. Including the discontinued and unusual items, net earnings per share were $2.99 in 1992 compared with $2.87 in fiscal 1991.
 General Mills Chairman Bruce Atwater said that the record results reflect continued excellent performance by Consumer Foods, strong second-half gains by Restaurants, and good expense control throughout the company. Consumer Foods operating profits rose 13 percent excluding unusual gains. Restaurant operating profits grew 11 percent, including gains of 24 and 27 percent in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. Total 1992 operating profits excluding unusual gains rose 13 percent. Development spending in 1992 on CPW, China Coast and other ventures amounted to $33 million pre-tax (13 cents per share) compared with $21 million (8 cents per share) in the prior year. Established business operating profit, therefore, was up 14 percent in fiscal 1992.
 Fourth quarter 1992 earnings per share were 62 cents, up 13 percent from the 55 cents reported by continuing operations a year ago. After- tax earnings rose 13 percent to $103.1 million. Fourth-quarter sales were $2.0 billion, up 11 percent excluding revenues of disposed businesses. The final quarter included 14 weeks versus the normal 13 weeks in 1991.
 OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS
 Consumer Foods operations had another excellent year in 1992. Sales grew 6 percent to reach $5.23 billion; excluding revenues from businesses disposed of since the beginning of 1991, sales grew 9 percent. Total domestic packaged foods unit volume grew 7.1 percent. Most major product categories achieved market share gains.
 Big G's dollar share of the $8.0 billion U.S. ready-to-eat cereal market grew nearly one point over the prior year, reaching 29.1 percent. Annual volume grew 6 percent, with approximately half the gain from new cereals introduced in 1992 (Wheaties Honey Gold, Multi Grain Cheerios, Breakfast Pack and Berry Berry Kix). Unit volume growth was 4 percent in the second half of the year with strong gains in the third quarter where both promotional support and new product activity peaked. Fourth quarter 1992 volume declined compared with an unusually strong 1991 quarter. June volume is growing at historic rates.
 Foodservice cereal volume increased 20 percent in 1992. Outside the United States, annual cereal unit volume for General Mills Canada rose 11 percent and the company's dollar share in that market grew more than a point to about 15.5 percent. CPW, the company's strategic alliance with Nestle, S.A. to create a worldwide breakfast cereal business, achieved strong volume and share gains in France, Spain and Portugal, and initiated operations in Italy during the year. Including operations in the United Kingdom, CPW's sales reached $237 million.
 Betty Crocker Products recorded its third straight year of double- digit unit volume growth. The 13 percent volume increase was driven by excellent gains for Pop Secret microwave popcorn and other snack lines, Helper dinner mixes and specialty potatoes, and various dessert products. Yoplait yogurt's strong profit growth stemmed from a 13 percent unit volume gain. Gorton's also showed improved profits. Only the company's flour businesses reported results substantially below the prior-year level, although retail market share improved.
 Restaurant sales grew 15 percent in 1992 to exceed $2.54 billion as 120 units were added in North America, an annual expansion record. Overall results reflect the success of actions taken at Red Lobster USA to achieve a better balance of sales and margins as compared to the first half of 1992, and strong gains by The Olive Garden throughout the year. Performance by Red Lobster and The Olive Garden operations in Canada was well below the prior year's results.
 The Olive Garden's U.S. operations posted a 32 percent gain in sales and even faster growth in operating profits. Average annual unit sales increased 1 percent to reach nearly $2.8 million. During 1992, The Olive Garden opened a record 68 new units in the United States and 3 new restaurants in Canada, for a total of 341 North American units in operation at year end.
 Red Lobster USA recorded sales growth of 8 percent and profit growth nearly as fast, as second-half profit results benefitted from reduced promotion of lunch specials and increased operational efficiencies. Red Lobster USA's average annual unit sales of $2.9 million were 3 percent below the prior years, resulting from both the reduced promotional efforts and the increasing number of small-market units. Red Lobster finished the year with 619 units open in North America, having opened 50 new U.S. units and 2 restaurants in Canada. In addition, Red Lobster remodeled 126 U.S. restaurants as part of its current program to update the concept.
 Atwater commented that General Mills continued to invest heavily to support its internal growth opportunities. The company invested a record $695 million in new fixed assets during 1992, including new cereal systems, productivity enhancements, and new and remodeled restaurants. Despite this record-level capital spending, the company achieved a 20.6 percent after-tax return on capital in 1992.
 Looking ahead, Atwater said General Mills expects continued strong growth in earnings per share in fiscal 1993, despite continued heavy development costs associated with CPW, China Coast restaurants, and other new ventures. The outlook for each of the company's key established businesses is promising. In addition, he noted that new ventures designed to contribute to earnings growth in the latter half of the decade are making excellent progress. Company-wide efforts to increase productivity will continue to drive gains in return on sales.
 The results reported today are preliminary financial results. Audited financial results will be released in the General Mills Annual Report in mid-August.
 EARNINGS HIGHLIGHTS
 (Preliminary Unaudited Figures for Fiscal 1992)
 (In Millions, Except per Share Data)
 Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year
 Ended Ended(a)
 5/31/92 5/26/91 5/31/92(b) 5/26/92(b)
 Continuing Operations:
 Sales $2,000.5 $1,829.3 $7,777.8 $7,153.2
 Earnings after tax 103.1 90.9 505.6 464.2
 EPS $.62 $.55 $3.05 $2.82
 EPS excluding unusual
 items(b) .62 .55 3.05 2.66
 Results after discontinued operations:
 Discontinued operations
 after tax(c) (10.0) -- (10.0) 8.5
 Net earnings 93.1 90.9 495.6 472.7
 EPS-net earnings .56 .55 2.99 2.87
 Average shares outstanding 165.8 165.0 165.7 164.5
 OPERATING RESULTS BY SEGMENT
 Percent Change
 From
 Prior Year
 Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 4th
 5/31/92 5/26/91 5/31/92 5/26/91 Qtr Annual
 Consumer foods $1,299.6 $1,231.1 $5,233.8 $4,939.7 6 6
 Restaurants 700.9 598.2 2,544.0 2,213.5 17 15
 Total sales $2,000.5 $1,829.3 $7,777.8 $7,153.2 9 9
 Operating profit
 Consumer foods(b) 127.2 117.6 744.3 689.5 8 8
 Restaurants 69.6 54.7 190.8 172.2 27 11
 Total operating
 profit $196.8 $172.3 $935.1 $861.7 14 9
 Corporate expenses,
 including interest (28.5) (25.6) (90.6) (96.1) 11 (6)
 Earnings - pretax $168.3 $146.7 $844.5 $765.6 15 10
 ANALYSIS OF SALES, EARNINGS AND EARNINGS PER SHARE
 (Preliminary Unaudited Figures for Fiscal 1992)
 (In Millions, Except per Share Data)
 Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year
 Ended Ended(a)
 5/31/92 5/26/92 5/31/92 5/26/91
 Sales $2,000.5 $1,829.3 $7,777.8 $7,153.2
 Sales of disposed operations -- 22.7 19.0 170.1
 Sales excluding disposed
 operations $2,000.5 $1,806.6 7,758.8 6,983.1
 Net earnings $93.1 $90.9 495.6 472.7
 Discontinued operations(c) 10.0 -- 10.0 (8.5)
 Earnings from continuing
 operations 103.1 90.9 505.6 464.2
 Unusual gain included in
 continuing operations(b) -- -- -- (26.5)
 Earnings from continuing
 operations excluding unusual
 items $103.1 $90.9 $505.6 $437.7
 Net earnings per share $.56 $.55 $2.99 $2.87
 Discontinued operations
 per share(c) .06 -- .06 (.05)
 Earnings per share from
 continuing operations .62 .55 3.05 2.82
 Unusual gain per share included
 in continuing operations(b) -- -- -- (.16)
 Earnings per share from
 continuing operations excluding
 unusual items $.62 $.55 $3.05 $2.66
 ANALYSIS OF OPERATING RESULTS BY SEGMENT
 Amounts Exclude Sales from Disposed Businesses
 and Unusual Items from Operating Profit
 (Preliminary Unaudited Figures for Fiscal 1992)
 (In Millions)
 Percent
 Change
 From
 Prior Year
 Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year(a) 4th
 Sales 5/31/92 5/26/91 5/31/92 5/26/91 Qtr Annual
 Consumer foods $1,299.6 $1,208.4 $5,214.8 $4,769.6 8 9
 Restaurants 700.9 598.2 2,544.0 2,213.5 17 15
 Total sales $2,000.5 $1,806.6 $7,758.8 $6,983.1 11 11
 Operating profit
 Consumer foods(b) 126.6 117.6 726.8 641.3 8 13
 Restaurants 69.6 54.7 190.8 172.2 27 11
 Total operating profit $196.2 $172.3 $917.6 $813.5 14 13
 RESTAURANT UNITS
 Units No. Units No. Opened Net Units
 F91 Year-End F92 Year-End 4th Qtr. Added F92(d)
 500 RL-USA 549 16 49
 68 RL-Canada 70 -- 2
 253 TOG-USA 320 17 67
 19 TOG-Canada 21 1 2
 840 TOTAL 960 34 120
 (a) Fiscal years 1992 and 1991 consisted of 53 weeks and 52 weeks, respectively.
 (b) Fiscal 1992 cumulative results include a net gain of $11.8 million pretax and no after-tax effect including the sale of PYCASA, our Spanish frozen food subsidiary and restructuring charges for our Betty Crocker packaged mixes production and European food operations, and the call of our 9-3/8 percent debt. Fiscal 1991 cumulative results include a net gain of $48.2 million pretax and $26.5 million after-tax ($.16 per share) including the sales of our O- Cel-O sponge and Lancia Bravo pasta operations and restructuring charges for Yoplait yogurt and hot cereal.
 (c) In fiscal 1992 the discontinued operations charge of $10.0 million ($.06 per share) primarily relates to a potential lease adjustment with R. H. Macy Company under bankruptcy law for New York City office space. In fiscal 1991, adjustment of previously established discontinued operations reserves.
 (d) Units Closed in F92: RL USA - 1, TOG USA - 1, TOG Canada - 1
 -0- 6/25/92
 /CONTACT: (Analysts) Dean Belbas, 612-540-2443 or Ted Blood, 612-540-2256; or (Media) R.C. Shulstad, 612-540-3745, all of General Mills/
 (GIS) CO: General Mills ST: Minnesota IN: FOD SU: ERN


AL -- MN003 -- 3875 06/25/92 14:51 EDT
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