Milling & Baking News - March 29, 2005 - (Page 1)

Theinewsweeklyiofigrain-basedifoods General Mills still upbeat about whole grains as earnings slip MINNEAPOLIS - While a difficult breakfast cereal market contributed to a 5% year-over-year earnings decline at General Mills, Inc., the company's recent whole grains conversion will pay off in the future, said Stephen W. Sanger, chairman and chief executive officer. Third-quarter results also were hurt by taxes related to the February sale of General Mills' stake in Snack Ventures Europe (S.V.E.) to PepsiCo as well as accounting changes. On the positive side, the company's Bakeries and Foodservice operating earnings surged. Net income of General Mills in the third quarter ended Feb. 7 was $230 million, LATE American Institute of Baking equal to 63c per share on the common stock, down 5% from $242 million, or 64c per share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2004. Net sales were $2,772 million, up 2.6%. During the quarter General Mills incurred certain identified costs: * $45 million, or 12c per share, in taxes related to the disposition of its interest in S.V.E.; * $4 million, or 1c per share, in restructuring and other exit costs, and associated costs; and * 3c per share charge for adjustment for EITF 04-8 accounting treatment, which requires contingently convertible debt to be Continued on Page 14 Milling industry works to bring testing of StarLink to conclusion ORLANDO, FLA. - An end to mandatory testing for the adventitious presence of StarLink in the corn supply ranks high on the agenda of the North American Millers' Association in coming months, said Elizabeth A. (Betsy) Faga, president. Ms. Faga reviewed a series of NAMA priorities in a March 20 interview with Milling & Baking News. Ms. Faga was in Or- SINCE 1919 lando in connection with the annual meeting of the American Bakers Association. "One of our major objectives is to get that resolved," Ms. Faga said. "Unfortunately, it's not an easy task. Even when we show the traces of the Cry9C protein are in the parts per trillion, the government is reluctant to act. Meanwhile, corn millers are Continued on Page 29 NEWS OMAHA - A strong performance by its Food Ingredients segment highlighted an otherwise difficult third quarter at ConAgra Foods, Inc. Food Ingredient operating profits in the quarter ended Feb. 27 were $60 million, up 10% from the third quarter last year. Sales rose 9%, to $608 million. Higher volumes and improved market conditions drove the strong performance of "grain-based foods ingredients," the company said. Dehydrated onion and other vegetable ingredients had a tough Continued on Page 8 Ingredients a plus at ConAgra inside MARCH 29, 2005 / Insert included Tom Harkin: Stop the junk food ads WASHINGTON - As part of a call for aggressive action to address poor nutrition among American children, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa on March 16 challenged the food industry to limit the junk food advertising it gears toward children. Mr. Harkin indicated that if the industry fails to live up to the challenge he would be inclined to push for legislation to impose federal regulation of junk food marketing to children. "Parents' choices about their children's eating habits are undermined by junk food ads every day," Mr. Harkin said. "Although parents may want their kids to eat healthy, they often lose out because SpongeBob SquarePants, Shrek and cartoon superheroes Continued on Page 12 THIS WEEK Krispy Kreme bakeries out at Wal-Mart Michigan Sugar to halt beet processing 9 10 Ingredient Bush taps Portman as next U.S.T.R. 28 Week sponsored by 30

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Milling & Baking News - March 29, 2005