General Mills saw sales fall in the fourth quarter of its financial year, rounding off 12 months when the Old El Paso and Yoplait owner’s financial results were “below expectations”.

Sales in the three months to 25 May dropped 3% to US$4.3bn. Pound volumes fell by two percentage points and foreign exchange hit revenue by a further two points. Price and mix added one percentage point to General Mills’ top line.

Net earnings rose 10.5% to $404.6m during the quarter. Adjusted segment operating profit of $733m “essentially matched year-ago levels”, the company said.

The quarter rounded off a year in which net sales were up 1% but adjusted segment operating profit dropped 2% and net earnings fell 1.7%.

Chairman and CEO Ken Powell said General Mills “made good progress” expanding worldwide but admitted sales and operating profit were “disappointing”.

“Our number one objective in the new fiscal year is to accelerate our top-line growth,” Powell said.

He noted supply-chain cost savings from General Mills ongoing margin management programme would exceed $400m but revealed the company had “started work on several new cost-reduction initiatives designed to boost our efficiency and sharpen business focus behind our key growth strategies”.