General Mills has announced a drop in third-quarter profit of a third after the US manufacturing giant said sales volumes had fallen by 1% for the past three months.

Profit for the three months to 22 February fell to $289m, down 33% from the mark of $430m for the equivalent period last year.

General Mills’ international business fared poorly due to the strength of the dollar, with sales down by more than 5% and profit down by over 6%.

“Our results this quarter reflect a difficult comparison against strong prior-year results, as well as significantly higher input costs in the current period," chairman and chief executive Ken Powell said in a statement.

“We expect to finish the year on a strong note [and] intend to continue investing substantial levels of consumer marketing support behind our brands in order to help position our businesses for continuing growth in fiscal 2010.”