Big G cereals spur sales growth at General Mills

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — Thanks in large part to a boost in Big G cereals sales, General Mills, Inc. last week said it expects to report good sales and earnings per share gains for its fiscal 2008 first quarter when it issues complete first-quarter 2008 results on Sept. 19. General Mills said sales growth for the period ended Aug. 26 is expected to exceed the company’s long-term target of low single-digit growth, while first-quarter earnings per share are expected to be 81c, including previously announced restructuring expenses of $13 million pre-tax. The results would compare with net sales growth of 7% and e.p.s. of 74c during the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Commenting on the strength of Big G cereals, General Mills said, "That growth reflects introductory shipments of several new cereals, and effective execution to date of various pricing and package size changes on established cereal brands." General Mills also said it repurchased more than 20 million shares of company stock during the first quarter of 2008.

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