ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG ), one of America's leading branded food companies, reported record sales and profits for its fiscal second quarter ended November 26, 2000. Sales rose 8% to $7.2 billion, operating profit increased 25% to $692 million, and net income grew 61% to $302 million. Gross and operating margins expanded substantially over the comparable period last fiscal year. The company attributed the quarter's performance to three strategies: the recently-completed acquisition of brands such as Chef Boyardee, PAM Cooking Spray, Gulden's, and Bumble Bee; growth for several key brands and product lines through greater marketing investment; and continued efficiency gains. For the first half of fiscal 2001, sales rose 5% to $14.1 billion, operating profit grew 17% to $1.1 billion, and net income grew 55% to $448 million.