Sara Lee Corporation's board of directors today approved a 7.4% increase to the corporation's common dividend rate, Chairman John H. Bryan announced at the company's 60th annual meeting of stockholders in Chicago. This represents Sara Lee's 25th consecutive year of common dividend rate increases. The board of directors approved an increase in the annual dividend from $.54 to $.58 per share. On a quarterly basis, the dividend will be $.145 per share, effective with the dividend payable on January 2, 2001. The dividend is payable to stockholders of record on December 1, 2000. This is the 219th consecutive dividend declared by the corporation. Sara Lee Corporation (