General Mills reported results for the third quarter of fiscal 2014. Sales and operating profit for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 23, 2014, reflect lower volumes, consistent with generally weak food industry trends during this period; the impact of increased consumer marketing and merchandising investment in the company's U.S. yogurt business; and negative foreign currency effects. Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 totaled $4.38 billion, down 1 percent from year-ago levels.
Third-quarter net sales for General Mills' U.S. retail segment declined 2 percent to $2.62 billion. Lower pound volume reduced net sales growth by 1 percentage point, and net price realization and mix also subtracted 1 point of net sales growth. Advertising and media expense declined 1 percent in the period. Segment operating profit totaled $517 million, 11 percent below strong year-ago results. This primarily reflects the impact of higher dairy input costs and increased marketing and merchandising investment for the U.S. yogurt business.
Through the first nine months of fiscal 2014, U.S. retail segment net sales totaled $8.17 billion. This essentially matched prior-year levels, as a 1 percent decline in pound volume was offset by higher net price realization and mix. Advertising and media expense was up 1 percent through the first nine months, and segment operating profit of $1.81 billion was 3 percent below year-ago results. Full report.