General Mills was 8% stronger in its third quarter, after net sales rose to $4.2 billion.
The snack company added more than $300 million in additional revenue compared to the same period last year, while operating profit rose by 14.4% to reach $651 million.
The Minneapolis-based firm has stabilised under CEO Jeff Harmening but has faced recent retail struggles in North America, its largest market, which saw declines in net sales of 2% and 3.4% respectively in its first and second quarters.
North America retail sales this quarter essentially matched the same period last year, General Mills said, with organic net sales growing modestly.
General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening said: “We had a strong third quarter, with positive organic sales growth and significant operating margin expansion. Our year-to-date performance and fourth-quarter plans give us confidence that we will meet or exceed all of our key fiscal 2019 targets. For the full year, we now expect adjusted diluted EPS and free cash flow conversion will exceed our initial targets, net sales will finish toward the lower end of our guidance range, and adjusted operating profit will finish toward the higher end of the range.
“Our improved execution and strengthened performance this year reinforce our view that a balanced approach to top and bottom-line growth, centred on our Consumer First strategy, will drive long-term value for our shareholders.”
The company is still $400 million stronger in revenue terms than Harmening’s first quarter as CEO, when the firm turned over $3.77 billion.
And it is in a better place generally since Harmening replaced Ken Powell as CEO, delivering back-to-back year-on-year growth and helping to re-focus the company’s efforts on stabilising and improving top-line performance.
In September 2017, General Mills vowed to continue prioritising its top line after net sales for the first quarter of its financial year fell by 4%, with Harmening calling it his “number one priority” as CEO.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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