UPDATE 2-General Mills posts higher sales, helped by new products
Sept 18 (Reuters) - General Mills Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales on Wednesday due to the addition of new products and businesses, and the maker of Cheerios cereal and Progresso soups affirmed its fiscal-year earnings outlook.
The company also said earnings increased in the first quarter ended on Aug. 25, excluding gains incurred in the year-earlier period.
Net sales rose 8 percent to $4.37 billion. Analysts on average were expecting $4.3 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Shares of General Mills rose 1 percent to $50.29 in trading before the market opened.
The company said acquisitions including Yoki Alimentos in Brazil and Yoplait Canada in the previous year contributed 5 percentage points to sales growth. Internationally, net sales rose 22 percent to $1.32 billion.
Sales in the United States also benefited from such new products as Nature Valley Soft-baked Oatmeal Squares and a new variety of Honey Nut Cheerios, as well as the acquisition of Immaculate Baking Co.
First-quarter net income fell to $459.3 million, or 70 cents per share, from $548.9 million, or 82 cents per share. Excluding tax-related gains and other special items, year-earlier earnings were 66 cents per share.
The latest results met the analysts' average estimate.
General Mills increased spending on advertising by 7 percent in the first quarter.
The company affirmed its fiscal 2014 outlook of $2.87 to $2.90 per share before special items.