USA – General Mills has reported a 4% decline in its net sales- down to US$3.77 billion in its fiscal Q1 with 3% operating profit decline, which was 16% down in constant currency terms.

The company however has reaffirmed its fiscal 2018 full-year outlook including organic net sales down to 1 or 2%, constant-currency total segment up by 1% and increased adjusted diluted EPS up 1 to 2% in constant currency.

“Our number one priority in fiscal 2018 is strengthening our top-line performance,” said General Mills Chief Executive Officer Jeff Harmening.

“Our first-quarter net sales finished in line with our expectations, and our focus on our global growth priorities drove important improvement in our retail sales trends.

This included a 300 basis point improvement in the U.S., with better results in each of our top 5 categories.

We anticipated a slow start to the year on the bottom line, and we continue to expect sequential improvement in profitability in the coming quarters.

Looking ahead, we’re taking deliberate steps through innovation, brand building, and increased organizational agility to position the company for long-term top- and bottom-line growth, in line with our shareholder return model.”

General Mills’ approach to long-term shareholder value creation focuses on generating a balance of top-line growth and margin expansion, combined with disciplined focus on cash conversion and cash returns.

The company is pursuing its Consumer First strategy by increasing investment in innovation and brand building to drive improved net sales performance.

It has pursued an aggressive new products development strategy in the last year to catch up with its rivals in an increasingly competitive market place.

These include a new French-style yoghurt called Oui, which comes in glass jars, additions to its Haagen-Dazs line with mini ice cream products in Europe, among other products that it launched in the summer of this year.