In its quarterly presentation to financial analysts in New York, Sara Lee Corporation yesterday reviewed its global coffee operations, highlighting the $2.6 billion business’s growth opportunities through product innovation and geographic expansion.

Frank L. Meysman, executive vice president of Sara Lee Corporation and chairman of the board of management of Sara Lee/DE, Sara Lee’s Dutch subsidiary, discussed the competitive advantages created by Sara Lee’s long-term expertise in coffee purchasing and blending. This expertise allows Sara Lee, which is the third-largest purchaser of green coffee beans in the world, to enjoy strong profit margins despite fluctuating green coffee costs.

“Buying such a tremendous amount of coffee each year affords Sara Lee a number of benefits in terms of lower costs, higher quality, more certain supply and increased efficiencies,” Meysman told analysts.

Currently, Sara Lee is the third-largest retail coffee roaster in the United States, the second-largest retail coffee roaster in Europe, the largest out-of-home coffee roaster in the United States and Europe, and the largest coffee roaster in Brazil. The company markets a variety of well-known brands, including Chock full o’Nuts, Hills Bros., and MJB in the United States; Douwe Egberts, Maison du Café, and Marcilla in Europe; and, Uniao, Caboclo, and Café do Ponto in Brazil.

With leading brands in key coffee marketplaces around the world, Sara Lee is well positioned to grow its coffee business.

“Sara Lee believes that our best growth opportunities will come from global expansion and consolidation, especially given that the four largest coffee companies in the world have less than 40 percent of the global market and the remaining share is highly fragmented,” said Meysman.

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For people who would like to listen to Mr. Meysman’s presentation, it will be archived in the Investor Relations section of the Sara Lee corporate Web site ( for 10 business days.

Sara Lee Corporation is a global branded consumer packaged goods company with approximately $17.5 billion in annual revenues. Its leading brands include Sara Lee, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Kiwi, Hanes and Playtex.

Forward-looking statements: This news release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Sara Lee’s global Coffee and Tea operations, including Sara Lee’s competitive advantages, growth opportunities and expansion plans. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data and management’s views and assumptions regarding future events. Such forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain, and investors must recognize that actual results may differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Consequently, the corporation wishes to caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. We have provided additional information in our Form 10-K for fiscal year 2000 and our Form 10-Q for the first fiscal quarter 2001, which readers are encouraged to review, concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward looking statements.