General Mills posts 29% profit benefiting from home food demand due to Covid-19

USA – General Mills has posted first quarter net sales of US$4.4 billion representing a 9% rise and an operating profit of US$854 million representing a 29% leap as consumers continued to stock up on its baked goods and meal products and as it continues to benefit from at-home food demand amid Covid-19. 

In the three months ended 30 August 2020, General Mills continued to see its biggest division bode well. While modest in comparison to its fourth quarter growth of 36%, net sales for the company’s North America retail unit increased by 14% to US$2.71 billion.

Strong growth in the unit was witnessed among its refrigerated baked goods, dessert mixes and soup. Net sales rose 31% in US meals and baking and 10% in US cereal, with milder growth in US yogurt and Canada. Meanwhile, the unit’s snack sales were down slightly.

“We continued to drive exceptional results this quarter, highlighted by broad-based market share gains amid elevated at-home food demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The fundamentals of our business are strong. We’re investing in our brands, executing with speed and agility, and maintaining our focus on the health and safety of our employees and our consumers,” said General Mills chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening.

“We’re investing in our brands, executing with speed and agility, and maintaining our focus on the health and safety of our employees and our consumers,”

Jeff Harmening – General Mills chairman and CEO

“And, importantly, we’re resuming dividend growth sooner than initially planned. I’m more confident than ever that General Mills is poised to emerge from the pandemic a stronger company and in a position to generate consistent, profitable growth and top-tier returns for our shareholders.”

The owner of Cheerios and Old El Paso suffered again in its convenience stores and foodservice segment with a 12% decline due to reduced away-from-home food demand.

Its Europe and Australia segment increased 8% with double digit growth for Old El Paso, Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Betty Crocker dessert mixes. 

In Asian and Latin America, General Mills saw its net sales rise by 6% with strong growth from its Yoki seasonings, Kitano meals and snacks in Brazil and Betty Crocker dessert mixes in the Middle East. Segment operating profit totalled US$20 million compared to US$10 million a year ago.

Despite strong results, the company has not provided a full-year outlook for fiscal 2021.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.