General Mills Plans 625 Layoffs Amidst Mixed Financials

June 27, 2018
Full-year sales up 0.8 percent but operating profit down 2.2 percent.

As it continues its $8 billion acquisition of petfood maker Blue Buffalo, General Mills plans 625 layoffs as it realigns itself for growth.

In its fourth-quarter and full-year fiscal 2018 financial reports, announced today (June 27), Big G revealed plans for plant closings in Vineland, N.J., and Melbourne, Australia.

The company's financials were a mixed bag, with full-year sales up 0.8 percent (to $15.74 billion) but operating profit down 2.2 percent (to $2.5 billion). Both North American retail and Asia & Latin America sales were down roughly a percentage point, but the convenience stores & foodservice segment was up 3.2 percent and Europe & Australia grew 8.8 percent.

The company's fiscal 2018 ended May 27.

The Yoplait yogurt business lost sales for the third quarter in a row, declining 5% in the fourth quarter. Sales at the U.S. meals and baking division fell 2% in the quarter. But sales increased 2 percent in the U.S. Snacks and U.S. Cereal operating units.

"Fiscal 2018 represented an important first step in returning our business to sustainable topline growth," said Chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening. "We made significant progress toward competing more effectively this year, with strong innovation, marketing, and in-store execution driving positive organic sales growth in each of our last three quarters. And we moved to reshape our portfolio for future growth with the acquisition of Blue Buffalo, a fast-growing, highly profitable business that is leading the transformation of the U.S. pet food category. While our full-year profit results fell short of our initial plans, we finished the year delivering growth in sales, margins, profit, and EPS in the fourth quarter."

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