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General Mills announces Q3 growth in FY2008

BY Jenna Duncan

MINNEAPOLIS General Mills results for the third quarter of fiscal 2008, showed that net sales climbed 12 percent to $3.41 billion. Segment operating profits rose 14 percent to $594 million and net earnings, including non-cash gains from mark-to-market valuation of commodity positions, rose 61 percent to $430 million. Other segments saw gains, as well.

“This was a terrific quarter for General Mills, fueled by continued strong demand for our products in markets all around the world,” said Ken Powell, chief executive officer of General Mills, in a recent release.

General Mills also reported that its snacks division net sales grew 16 percent. The company credits steady sales of the Fiber One bars and fruit snacks and Nature’s Valley grain snacks. It says the baking products division sales also climbed 16 percent, the Yoplait division grew 14 percent and net sales for the General Mills’ organic business, Small Planet Foods, rose 14 percent.

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Campbell sells Godiva Chocolatier for $850 Million

BY Jenna Duncan

CAMDEN, N.J. Campbell Soup Co. announced the completion of the sale of Godiva Chocolatier to Yildiz Holding for $850 million. The sale began Dec. 20, 2007, Campbell says.

Campbell says its Board of Directors approved $600 million of the proceeds of the sale of Godiva to buy company stock in the open market.

It is reported that Godiva’s annual sales total about $500 million.

Campbell expects the sale to help earnings per share in fiscal 2008. Campbell Soup Co. currently owns the brands Arnott’s, Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farm and V8 brands.

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Wish-Bone creates innovative salad dressing line, expands line of spritzers

BY Jenna Duncan

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Wish-Bone has introduced Bountifuls, a variety of different blends based on traditional vinaigrette salad dressing.

Each Bountifuls dressing variety—Berry Delight, Hearty Italian, Simply Santa Fe and Tuscan Romano Basil—is touted to be flavored with tangy and spicy flavors and blended with bits of real fruits and vegetables from different regions of the world.

Wish-Bone will also be launching two new flavors from its Salad Spritzers portfolio—Ranch and Honey Mustard Buzz—this spring. Each flavor of the Salad Spritzers dressing line contains two calories per spray.

Bountifuls dressings contain less than one gram of fat and less than 35 calories per serving. The suggested retail price is $2.79 for each 9.5-ounce bottle.

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