• Q3 loss of $2m
  • Excluding one-off items, net income fell 33.4%
  • "On track" for 30 June spin off 

US food and beverage group Sara Lee has reported a quarterly loss on the back of costs linked to the spin off of its coffee and tea business, which is scheduled for next month.

The company yesterday (3 May) booked a US$2m net loss for its third quarter, which ran until 31 March.

Operating income fell 65.9% to $66m thanks to restructuring costs and lower profits from the company's four divisions.

Net sales climbed 2% to $1.9bn as sales in each of the four units increased. However, price increases boosted sales and Sara Lee reported falling volumes from its coffee and tea and speciality meats units. Volumes from the company's North American retail meat business were flat year-on-year.

Excluding one-off items, which were largely due to the planned spin-off, adjusted net income was down 33.4% at $123m. Adjusted operating income fell 4.7% to $195m. Net sales excluding the items increased 3% to $1.86bn.

Executive chairman Jan Bennink said Sara Lee was "on track" to spin off the company's coffee and tea business - to be called D.E. Master Blenders 1753 - on 30 June.

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