General Mills today reported record results for its fiscal 2001 first quarter. Diluted earnings per share were 55 cents, up 10 percent from the 50 cents per share earned in the same period last year. Diluted earnings per share excluding goodwill amortization also grew 10 percent to 57 cents. For the 13-week period ended Aug. 27, 2000, earnings before interest and taxes increased 8 percent to $296 million. Interest expense in the quarter was higher, due to increased debt levels associated with prior year acquisitions and share repurchase activity. As a result, earnings after tax were essentially even with last year's at $159 million. First-quarter sales grew 6 percent to $1.67 billion.Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Sanger said the first-quarter results represented a good start to the year. "General Mills' current businesses are continuing to deliver excellent topline and bottomline growth. These first-quarter results put us on track to meet our full-year financial objectives," Sanger said.