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GENERAL MILLS REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS

 GENERAL MILLS REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS
 MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- General Mills (NYSE: GIS) today


reported earnings per share from continuing operations increased 15 percent for the second quarter of fiscal 1992.
 These results are before unusual net gains in both 1992 and 1991 relating primarily to the sales of businesses.
 For the 13-week period ended November 24, 1991, continuing operations earned 76 cents per share before unusual net gains, up from the 66 cents earned in last year's quarter. After-tax earnings grew 16 percent to $126.4 million. Cumulative first-half earnings per share of $1.62 before unusual net gains also increased 15 percent, up from $1.41 a year ago. Excluding revenues of disposed operations (Lancia Bravo pasta, O-Cel-O sponges, PYCASA frozen prepared meals, hot cereals),sales grew 13 percent in the second quarter and 12 percent in the first half.
 This is well above the growth rates for the markets in which the company competes.
 Chairman Bruce Atwater said the record results reflect continued strong profit growth by Consumer Foods, as well as excellent expense control throughout the company. He cited domestic package food unit volume growth of nearly 8 percent in the second quarter and 10 percent for the first half as the key performance factor. Restaurants reported a small operating gain in the second quarter following a profit decline in the first quarter. With the outlook for the company's key businesses promising, Atwater said General Mills "expects 1992 to be another year of record sales, earnings and earnings per share." OPERATING HIGHLIGHTS
 Consumer Foods reported second quarter gains in sales and operating profits of 11 percent and 13 percent respectively, excluding unusual items. This performance was led by Betty Crocker Products, Big G cereals, Foodservice operations and Yoplait yogurt. Betty Crocker Products achieved a 14 percent unit volume gain on the strength of Pop Secret microwave popcorn and other grain snacks, new varieties of Helper dinners and side dish mixes, new reduced-fat dessert items and unique new fruit snacks. Big G ready-to-eat cereal volume grew more than 9 percent, and the company's quarterly dollar share of the $7.5 billion retail market exceeded 29 percent, up about one share point from the comparable period last year. Recently introduced Triples, Basic 4 and Wheaties Honey Gold cereals paced volume and share strength. Big G's established brands also showed volume growth, led by the Cheerios brands. Foodservice cereal volume increased 32 percent and Canadian cereal volume rose 22 percent. Second-quarter development costs associated with CPW totaled about 3 cents per share, and were primarily associated with the introduction of three cereal brands in Continental Europe. Yoplait's improved results included a 15 percent volume gain compared to the prior year. Through the first half of 1992, Consumer Food sales and operating profits excluding unusual items increased 11 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
 Restaurants second-quarter sales increased 16 percent. Operating profits grew 2 percent compared to an 11 percent decline in the first quarter. The Olive Garden's profit results were well ahead of last year and met expectations. Red Lobster had higher check averages and improved margins as compared with the first quarter, and a small profit gain versus last year's second quarter. Both The Olive Garden and Red Lobster USA reported small gains in average unit sales in the second quarter. Results of Canadian restaurant operations were well below targeted levels, attributable to a weak economic climate and a 7 percent service tax on restaurant meals imposed January 1, 1991. Forty-three restaurants were opened in North America during the first half. Seventy-five openings are planned for the second half for a total of 118 new restaurants added in 1992, surpassing last year's record 111 new unit openings. Continuing improvement at Red Lobster, coupled with sustained good performance by The Olive Garden, is expected to lead to continued improvement in operating results during the second half. UNUSUAL NET GAINS
 The second quarter of fiscal 1992 had a 1-cent per share net gain from the sale of the PYCASA Spanish frozen food operation less various charges related to restructuring Betty Crocker packaged mixes production and European food operations, and the call of the company's 9-3/8 percent sinking fund debentures due March 1, 2009. Last year's second quarter had a 6-cents per share net gain from the sale of the Lancia Bravo pasta operation in Canada, partially offset by a restructuring charge for Yoplait yogurt operations. Quarterly earnings per share including these gains were 77 cents in fiscal 1992 and 72 cents in fiscal 1991.
 Net proceeds from divested assets released over $125 million to support the company's aggressive internal growth efforts. Atwater also noted that last year's restructuring of Yoplait's operations is already yielding lower operating costs, and that substantial future savings are anticipated from actions being taken by Betty Crocker and European Foods to lower costs. The $110 million debt issue being retired is being refunded at an annual cost savings of $1 million after-tax.
 EARNINGS HIGHLIGHTS
 (Amounts in millions, except per share data)
 Thirteen Twenty-Six
 Weeks Ended Weeks Ended
 Nov. 24, Nov. 25, Nov. 24, Nov. 25,
 1991 (1) 1990 (1) 1991 (1) 1990 (1)
 Continuing Operations:
 Sales $1,992.5 $1,836.8 $3,909.0 $3,576.3
 Earnings after tax 128.3 118.2 270.4 242.0
 EPS .77 .72 1.63 1.47
 Results After Discontinued Operations:
 Discontinued Operations
 after Tax (2) - - - 5.7
 Net Earnings 128.3 118.2 270.4 247.7
 EPS-Net Earnings .77 .72 1.63 1.51
 Average Shares Outstanding 165.6 164.4 165.5 164.1
 OPERATING RESULTS BY SEGMENT
 Percent Change
 From
 Prior Year
 Second Quarter Six Months 2nd 6
 11/24/91 11/25/90 11/24/91 11/25/90 Qtr Mos
 Consumer Foods $1,412.5 $1,338.9 $2,685.7 $2,508.1 5 7
 Restaurants 580.0 497.9 1,223.3 1,068.2 16 15
 Total Sales $1,992.5 $1,836.8 $3,909.0 $3,576.3 8 9
 Operating Profit
 Consumer Foods 221.0 197.2 431.3 369.9 12 17
 Restaurants 27.0 26.4 74.4 79.9 2 (7)
 Total Operating
 Profit 248.0 223.6 505.7 449.8 11 12
 Corporate Expenses,
 including Interest (25.8) (22.8) (49.1) (45.2) 13 9
 Earnings - Pretax $222.2 $200.8 $456.6 $404.6 11 13
 (1) Fiscal 1992 second quarter results include a net after-tax gain of $1.9 million ($.01 per share) from 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 debt. Fiscal 1991 second quarter results include a net after- tax gain of $9.2 million ($.06 per share) from the sale of our Lancia Bravo pasta operation and a restructuring charge for Yoplait yogurt operations.
 (2) In fiscal 1991, adjustment of previously established discontinued operations reserves.
 -0- 12/11/91
 /CONTACT: (Analysts) Dean Belbas, 612-540-2443 or Ted Blood, 612-540-2256; (Media) Craig Shulstad, 612-540-3745, all of General Mills/
 (GIS) CO: General Mills ST: Minnesota IN: FOD SU: ERN


AL -- MN012 -- 1505 12/11/91 13:21 EST
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