Milling & Baking News - March 1, 2005 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods Early results of whole grain sales look promising for General Mills SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. - The first few weeks of ACNielsen results on whole grain breakfast cereals have encouraged executives at Minneapolis-based General Mills, Inc. "The early feedback we have on whole grain, and it is very early - it is about four weeks of ACNielsen movement data - we are seeing a very encouraging up-tick in our baseline sales," Stephen W. Sanger, chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills, said Feb. 22 at the annual conference of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York. "Now the baseline, remember, is non-promoted volumes. So that business, which had been flat to down, is LATE picking up in the wake of the whole grain program." Mr. Sanger, however, added that merchandising levels and the lifts on merchandising that General Mills is experiencing at higher merchandise price points are not as dramatic as the same period a year ago. "So we are offsetting the gains we are getting on the baseline with some decline in merchandise volume," he said. "As to the relative amount of that and how it will all shake out, I think it's going to change over the course of time. "But I think that is the dynamic that is Continued on Page 15 Operating losses decline in Bimbo's U.S. operations MEXICO CITY - The U.S. segment of Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V. reported operating losses of NP294 million ($26.5 million) for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2004, which compared with operating losses of NP442 million in the previous fiscal year. Grupo Bimbo net sales of NP13,442 million in the U.S. segment for the fiscal year were an increase of 0.7% from net sales of HEALTH BARS product MARCH 1, 2005 / NP13,344 million in the previous fiscal year. The sales figure continued to reflect the application of Bulletin B-15 of Mexican GAAP. The sales growth in U.S. dollar terms would have been 3.2% without the application, the company said. The sales gain reflected higher sales volume and a better product mix in the fourth Continued on Page 12 perspective NEWS T O R O N T O - Strong sales of whole grain, whole wheat and specialty bread, along with the waning popularity of lowcarbohydrate diets, helped boost net income 87% to C$66,648,000 ($53,679,000), equal to C$2.62 per share on the common stock, at Canada Bread Co., Ltd. in the year ended Dec. 31. Sales for the year increased to C$1,318,865,000 ($1,062,300,000), up 4.4% from C$1,262,811,000 in fiscal 2003. Net earnings for the fourth quarter increased 63% to C$19,252,000 ($15,515,000), or 76c per share, compared with C$11,830,000, or 47c per share, last year. Sales for the quarter increased 9.7% to C$348,078,000. The company said its fresh bakery operations during the quarter benefited from the national expansion of Whole Grains Bagel, while frozen Continued on Page 8 Whole grains help net at Canada Bread International study to offer validation for fortification LONDON - A new study suggests food supply fortification is far more effective in preventing neural tube birth defects than simply encouraging women to take folic acid supplements. Public health agency recommendations around the world for women to take folic acid before becoming pregnant have had no measurable impact on the incidence of neural tube defects Continued on Page 28 for answers Story on Page 21 inside THIS WEEK From low carb into R.-T.-E. cereal business 9 Roger Deromedi: Biscuits are back! 16 Ingredient Robert Fischer, of A.S.B., dies at 77 29 Week sponsored by 30

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Milling & Baking News - March 1, 2005