Sector News

General Mills foodservice declines offset by North American retail

July 2, 2020
Food & Drink

General Mills has recorded a 5% year-on-year increase in net sales for its 2020 fiscal year, following a strong performance by its North America retail unit in the fourth quarter.

The owner of Häagen-Dazs and Cheerios posted net sales of $17.6 billion for the year ended 31 May 2020. Operating profit rose 17% to $3 billion.

In its fourth quarter, General Mills reported a 21% increase in net sales to $5 billion, primarily reflecting a significant increase in at-home food demand driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fiscal 2020 was a 53-week year, with the extra week falling in the fourth quarter.

The firm’s largest unit, North America retail, saw net sales rise by 36% in its fourth-quarter, following a weak third quarter and 2019 fiscal year.

Strong performance by the unit was largely driven by an increase in at-home consumption as well as additional sales from the 53rd week. Net sales increased across all five operating units with a significant 75% rise in its US meals and baking unit.

Pet sales continued to perform well with a 37% increase in net sales during the fourth quarter thanks to stockpiling and an increase of 18% overall for the full year.

The impact of increased at-home demand was less pronounced in the company’s Europe and Australia segment. Net sales increased by 3% for the full year where declines in yogurt and ice cream were partially offset by growth in Mexican food and dessert mixes.

Meanwhile, lower away-from-home food demand meant performance was particularly poor for its convenience stores and foodservice unit, and Asia and Latin America segment with net sale declines of 24% and 12% in the fourth-quarter, respectively.

General Mills chairman and CEO, Jeff Harmening, said: “Amid significant challenge and change in the world around us, General Mills adapted and executed in fiscal 2020 to deliver outstanding financial results while fulfilling our purpose of making food the world loves. We’ve demonstrated extraordinary agility to meet the unprecedented increase in demand for food at home and to win across our categories.”

Due to the unforeseen impacts of the coronavirus, General Mills is currently not providing an outlook for fiscal 2021.

By: Emma Upshallon

Source: Food Bev Media

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