general mills

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Profits at US consumer packaged goods group General Mills have risen more than expected in its third quarter as price hikes and cost cutting offset volume declines.

Net sales in the three months to 25 February 2024 fell 1% to $5.1bn (£4bn) at the Cheerios, Häagen-Dazs and Old El Paso owner, but operating profits jumped 25% to $911m (£713.3m).

CEO Jeff Harmening said: “General Mills’ strategic focus on brand building, innovation, and in-store execution contributed to improved volume and market share trends in the third quarter.

“We continue to navigate today’s evolving operating environment while generating industry-leading levels of cost savings. And we remain committed to investing further in our brands and capabilities to drive profitable growth over the long term.”

Revenues in its domestic North American retail market were flat year on year at $3.2bn (£2.5bn), while sales overseas slipped 3% to $680m (£532.5m) on falling volumes. International declines in China and Brazil were partially offset by growth in Europe and Australia.

General Mills upheld its full-year forecast for organic growth in the range of flat to 1% given input cost inflation continues to moderate and the supply chain environment is stablising.

Morning update

Cranswick has appointed Rachel Howarth as an independent non-executive director, starting on 30 April.

Howarth is the group people officer at Premier Inn owner Whitbread, with previous roles including HR director at SSP Group. She also spent 16 years with Tesco in operational and human resource capacities.

She will become a member of Cranswick’s remuneration, nomination and ESG committees, and she will also succeed Liz Barber as chairwoman of the remuneration committee in August.

The FTSE 100 soared 1.2% higher to 7,831.27pts this morning following a record session for US stocks.

Early risers included Ocado, up 2.9% to 480p, PZ Cussons, up 2.7% to 87.6p, and M&S, up 2.7% to 247.3p.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, British American Tobacco and Reckitt Benckiser are among the fallers, down 2.3% to €63.50, 1.6% to 2,357.5p and 0.3% to 4,322p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 closed flat yesterday at 7,737.38pts.

Naked Wines rallied after losing around 20% of its value this week following a Sky News story that it had appointed Interpath to help it refinance. The online wine retailer said in a statement to the stock market that it had already announced it was looking to refinance back in December and the move was a typical replacement review ahead of existing credit facilities expiring next year. Shares in the company bounced back 8.6% to 55p.

Other risers included Just Eat Takeaway and Deliveroo, up 2.9% to 1,189p and 2.4% to 117.7p respectively.

C&C Group fell 2.6% to 152p, Nichols ended 2.2% down to 978p and PZ Cussons slipped 2% to 85.3p.