Blog: Dean BestGeneral Mills CEO shines spotlight on competition in the UK

Dean Best | 16 December 2010

Trading conditions in the US grocery sector has been a regular feature of recent headlines on these pages - think of the cautious comments from Kellogg, Campbell Soup Co. and ConAgra Foods - and today (16 December) General Mills added to the debate.

The company today posted a drop in underlying half-year earnings as operating profits were squeezed by rising input costs and the continued high level of promotions in the US.

Speaking to analysts this afternoon, General Mills chief Ken Powell said he believed the promotional intensity in the US would "moderate" in the months ahead.

However, he notably highlighted the tough trading conditions the Old El Paso, Green Giant and Cheerios maker was seeing in the UK.

Powell said food makers in the UK were operating in "an intensely promotional environment across many categories".

Again, he said conditions would "moderate" but admitted that, right now, when looking at General Mills' international cereal business in particular, the UK market was "a stand-out" in terms of that promotional intensity.

You can read more of Powell's comments about the US and the UK here.


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