• Ups FY adjusted EPS target
  • H1 profits increase
  • New Brazilian business helps boost sales 
General Mills claimed "good" H1 performance

General Mills claimed "good" H1 performance

General Mills has lifted its forecast for underlying annual earnings after reporting a "good" performance in the first half of the US group's financial year.

The Green Giant and Old El Paso owner today (19 December) refreshed its guidance for adjusted EPS for its current fiscal year. It now forecasts adjusted EPS will be US$2.65-2.67, excluding mark-to-market effects, a tax benefit, as well as restructuring and integration costs. The company's previous forecast was $2.65.

General Mills reported a 28% increase in first-half net earnings to $1.09bn. Segment operating profit was 8% higher at $1.73bn.

The higher profits came on the back of improved sales. Revenues were boosted by contributions from General Mills' new Brazilian business Yoki and its Yoplait business in Canada, where the company has attained the sales and distribution rights to the yoghurt.

Sales grew 5% to $8.93bn, with volumes contributing eight points to the increase.

Shares in General Mills were down 0.86% at $41.41 at 12:49 ET.

Click here to read General Mill's views on the prospects for its US cereal and yoghurt businesses.

Show the press release

General Mills Reports Fiscal 2013 Second Quarter Results

Company Updates Full-year Outlook

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 19, 2012-- General Mills (NYSE: GIS) today reported results for the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Contributions from new businesses primarily reflect the first three months of consolidated operating results for the Yoki Alimentos business in Brazil and Yoplait Canada.

Fiscal 2013 Second Quarter Financial Summary

  • Net sales grew 6 percent to $4.88 billion. Acquisitions together with the recently assumed Yoplait Canada business contributed 4 points of net sales growth.
  • Segment operating profit grew 10 percent to $959 million.
  • Diluted earnings per share (EPS) totaled 82 cents, up from 67 cents a year ago.
  • Adjusted diluted EPS, which excludes certain items affecting comparability, totaled 86 cents this year compared to 76 cents in last year’s second quarter. (Please see Note 8 to the consolidated financial statements below for reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure).

Net sales for the 13 weeks ended Nov. 25, 2012, grew 6 percent to $4.88 billion. Pound volume contributed 7 points of net sales growth, primarily reflecting the addition of Yoki and Yoplait Canada. Price realization and mix reduced the net sales growth rate by 1 point. Foreign currency exchange had no impact on the rate of net sales growth in the quarter. Gross margin was above year ago levels. Total marketing spending in the quarter was weighted toward in-store promotional support for established brands and new product introductions; advertising and media expense was below strong year-ago levels. Total segment operating profit increased 10 percent to$959 million (Please see Note 8 for reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure). Second-quarter net earnings attributable to General Mills grew to $542 million and diluted earnings per share increased to 82 cents. Adjusted diluted EPS, which excludes certain items affecting comparability (see Note 8 below), grew 13 percent to 86 cents.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Powell said the second-quarter results reflected good performance by each of the company’s operating segments. “Our U.S. Retail segment posted gains in pound volume, net sales and operating profit. The Bakeries and Foodservice segment generated strong double-digit operating profit growth. And our International segment recorded good sales and profit growth for established businesses in addition to the incremental contributions from Yoki and Yoplait Canada.”

Products making the strongest contributions to net sales growth in the second quarter included new items such as Yoplait Greek and Greek 100 calorie yogurts, Nature Valley protein bars, Peanut Butter Multigrain Cheerios, Progresso Recipe Starters sauces and, in the United Kingdom, Nature Valley Sweet and Nutty bars. Established brands such as Lucky Charms and Chex cereals, Fiber One 90 calorie snack bars, Totino’s frozen snacks,Pillsbury refrigerated crescent rolls and, in China, Haagen Dazs mooncakes and other ice cream products also contributed strong sales gains.

Six-month Financial Summary
Through the first six months of fiscal 2013, General Mills sales grew 5 percent to $8.93 billion. Pound volume contributed 8 points of sales growth. Price realization and mix subtracted 2 points of net sales growth and foreign currency exchange reduced net sales growth by 1 point. Segment operating profit increased 8 percent to$1.73 billion. (Please see Note 8 for reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure.) Net earnings attributable toGeneral Mills increased 28 percent to $1.09 billion and diluted EPS rose to $1.64, including a net increase in mark-to-market valuation of certain commodity positions. Adjusted diluted earnings per share totaled $1.52 in the first half of 2013, up 8 percent from $1.41 in last year’s first half (please see Note 8).

U.S. Retail Segment Results
Second-quarter net sales for General Mills U.S. Retail segment grew 2 percent to $2.98 billion, reflecting increased pound volume. The Snacks, Small Planet Foods and Meals divisions each recorded net sales gains and Frozen Foods net sales essentially matched prior-year levels. These results offset declines in net sales for the Yoplait, Big G, and Baking Products divisions. Advertising and media expense was 1 percent below strong year-ago levels that grew 6 percent. U.S. Retail segment operating profit rose 9 percent to $723 million.

Through the first six months of 2013, U.S. retail segment net sales increased 1 percent to $5.48 billion and segment operating profits increased 4 percent to $1.30 billion.

International Segment Results
Second-quarter net sales for General Mills’ consolidated international businesses grew 19 percent to reach$1.38 billion. Pound volume contributed 26 points of net sales growth, reflecting the addition of Yoki and Yoplait Canada. Price realization and mix reduced net sales growth by 4 points and foreign-currency translation subtracted 3 points of net sales growth. On a constant-currency basis, International segment net sales grew 22 percent overall, with sales more than doubling in Latin America including Yoki, and an increase of 16 percent inCanada including Yoplait. Constant-currency net sales grew 3 percent in Europe, and 8 percent in the Asia / Pacific region. (Please see Note 8 below for reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure). International segment operating profit grew 4 percent to $139 million including a $17 million investment associated with transitioning Yoplait Canada from the former licensee to direct ownership. Excluding this expense, which has been included in the company’s 2013 financial guidance, International segment operating profit would have grown at a double-digit rate.

Through the first six months of 2013, International segment net sales grew 22 percent to $2.47 billion, and segment operating profit increased 24 percent to $265 million.

Bakeries and Foodservice Segment Results
Second-quarter net sales for the Bakeries and Foodservice segment totaled $516 million, 1 percent below year-ago results. Price realization and mix contributed 1 point of net sales growth, while lower pound volume reduced net sales growth by 2 points. Segment operating profits grew 24 percent in the quarter to $96 million, reflecting lower wheat costs year-over-year, favorable mix, and higher grain merchandising earnings.

Through the first six months of 2013, Bakeries and Foodservice segment net sales declined 2 percent to $987 million, and segment operating profits increased 18 percent to $164 million.

Joint Venture Summary
Combined after-tax earnings from the Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) and Haagen Dazs Japan (HDJ) joint ventures totaled $33 million in the second quarter, up 14 percent from year-ago levels. Constant-currency net sales for CPW grew 3 percent. Constant-currency net sales for HDJ grew 5 percent. Through the first six months of 2013, after-tax earnings from joint ventures totaled $56 million.

Corporate Items
Unallocated corporate items totaled $127 million net expense in this year’s second quarter compared to $155 million net expense a year ago. Excluding the effects of mark-to-market valuation of certain commodity positions in both years, unallocated corporate items totaled $79 million net expense this year compared to $61 million net expense a year ago. The increase primarily reflects higher pension expense.

This year’s second-quarter results included $3 million of restructuring expense related to actions taken in the previous fiscal year. Net interest expense declined to $76 million in the second quarter, reflecting changes in debt mix. The effective tax rate was 32.6 percent, compared to 33.3 percent a year earlier. Excluding certain items affecting comparability, the second quarter effective tax rate was 32.8 percent in 2013 and 33.7 percent in 2012. (Please see Note 8 for reconciliation of this non-GAAP measure).

Cash Flow Items
Cash provided by operating activities totaled $1.32 billion through the first half of 2013, up 14 percent from year-ago levels. Capital investments through the first half totaled $264 million, essentially matching year-ago levels. Cash consideration for the Yoki acquisition totaled $820 million in the second quarter of 2013. Dividends paid increased to $434 million, reflecting the 8 percent increase in dividend rate year-over-year. During the first half of 2013, General Mills repurchased approximately 12 million shares of common stock for a total of $479 million. Average diluted shares outstanding totaled 664 million in the second quarter of 2013, approximately 1 million shares lower than in last year’s second quarter.

Outlook
General Mills said it anticipates fiscal 2013 supply chain inflation will be at the high end of its forecasted 2 to 3 percent range, with the past summer’s drought expected to modestly increase second-half inflation rates. The company’s second-half outlook assumes a higher tax rate than in the first half, reflecting the timing of tax expense for the year. The company also is anticipating possible currency devaluation in Venezuela during the second half of the fiscal year.

“As we move into the second half, the global operating environment remains challenging,” Powell said. “We are working to build on our good performance year-to-date. We’re launching a promising slate of new products in our core U.S. market. And we have strong levels of advertising and in-store merchandising planned to support new and existing products in markets worldwide.”

General Mills increased its guidance for fiscal 2013 adjusted diluted EPS to a range of $2.65 to $2.67, excluding mark-to-market effects, a net tax benefit recorded in the first quarter, and restructuring and integration costs.

General Mills will hold a briefing for investors today, December 19, 2012, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. You may access the web cast from General Mills’ internet home page: generalmills.com.

Adjusted diluted EPS, total segment operating profit, international sales excluding foreign currency translation effects, and adjusted effective tax rate are each non-GAAP measures. Reconciliations of these measures to their relevant GAAP measures appear in Note 8 to the attached Consolidated Financial Statements.

Original source: General Mills