We'll be ready to hit the ground running as soon as we receive the remaining regulatory approval.
Our strong first quarter was achieved without any sales increase [in cereal], with a volume decline, ... Going forward, we expect cereal sales to grow for the balance of the year.
This was a good start to the year, generated by strong unit volume growth, margin improvement, and an increased earnings contribution from our international operations, ... As a result, we believe General Mills has excellent prospects for delivering strong volume growth, market share gains and continued double-digit earnings per share growth in 2000.
Our problem was we got our [prices] a little high and we had to bring them back in line. We had a decline in cereal shipments that was offset by price realisation on cereals, so our overall cereal sales were flat.
These actions are difficult because they directly affect our employees. However, by addressing the changes in our product mix, we should strengthen our ability to compete.
We?re pleased with our performance in the second quarter. The 3% net sales gain was on top of a 4% increase in last year?s second quarter, and all three of our business segments posted sales growth for the period.
If there is an impact, it is not yet visible to us.
These first-quarter results put us on track to meet our full-year financial objectives.
We are pleased with this settlement as a partial recovery of the costs we incurred. It's welcome news to the General Mills people who worked so hard in 1994 to help the company rebound from this event.