US food group General Mills has announced plans for a double-digit increase in ad spend in the second half of the current fiscal year. The company also noted that cost pressures were continuing to weigh on bottom-line results.

General Mills made the announcement at an analysts’ briefing on 11 January when it also announced that sales in the first half were up by about 3%. “Top-line momentum is offsetting higher costs,” the company said, adding that it was recording profit and revenue growth across all areas of the business.

General Mills further stated that it expected sales growth to continue through the coming six months although earnings will be affected by cost pressures and increased advertising.

The company also reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the 2006 fiscal year, of US$2.80 to US$2.85 a share, which includes an 8-cent dilution tied to accounting for convertible debt.