US consumer products group Sara Lee, the maker of cakes and Hanes underwear said third quarter sales rose 3.6% to $4.35bn aided by the weakness of the dollar against foreign currencies.

Marketing activity was increased during the period but once currency and price fluctuations were factored out unit volumes fell 2%, excluding acquisitions and disposals.

Sara Lee boss Steven McMillan in a conference call with analysts said the group may decide to divest or reduce some of its businesses, while others may need to be managed better to produce cash.

Over the last two years the company has cut jobs, closed plants and sold off unprofitable businesses to help trim costs.