Net sales fell as a result of unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates, volume declines and strategic business exits. Cash from operations was very strong, driven by higher operating income, favorable working capital and lower pension contributions.
“I’m very pleased with our first-quarter performance, which demonstrates substantial bottom-line improvement,” said Sara Lee Corp chairman and CEO, Brenda C Barnes. “A number of factors contributed to our results, including lower input costs, Project Accelerate cost savings and pricing discipline. At the same time, we’re increasing or maintaining our market share positions in many of our key categories behind important new products such as Hillshire Farm Family Size lunchmeat tubs, Jimmy Dean D-Lights breakfast sandwiches and various new Senseo coffee pods in our international markets. The combination of these factors allows us to both raise our EPS guidance for fiscal 2010 and to increase our investment in a full pipeline of growth opportunities. We continue to spend more toward our consumers and expect MAP spending to be up for the year.
“During the quarter, we announced that we received a binding offer of €1.275bn from Unilever for our global body care and European detergents businesses. This enables us to focus on our core food and beverage businesses. We’re confident that we will soon divest the remainder of the segment.”
Source: Sara Lee Corporation
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