NEW YORK — Profit and revenue slipped at General Mills during first quarter with the downward sales trend for yogurt and cereal ongoing.

Shares faded by 5 percent before the opening bell Wednesday, nearing multiyear lows.

Sales for the maker of Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and packaged foods have weakened as preferences shift away from so-called “light” or “diet” products, with fewer people following strict calorie-counting diets.

Retail sales in North America fell 5 percent to $2.44 billion, weighed down by double-digit declines in Yoplait yogurt products. Cereal sales fell 7 percent.

Profit at the Minneapolis company fell 1.1 percent to $404.7 million, or 69 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 71 cents per share, which was 6 cents short of Wall Street expectations, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue dropped 3.5 percent to $3.77 billion, also short of analyst projections.

“We’re taking deliberate steps through innovation, brand building, and increased organizational agility to position the company for long-term top- and bottom-line growth,” said CEO Jeff Harmening.

General Mills still expects full-year revenue to fall between 1 percent and 2 percent.

Shares of General Mills Inc. have fallen 10 percent since the beginning of the year.


Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights ( using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on GIS at


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