USA – General Mills faced a challenging third quarter in fiscal 2024, grappling with supply chain disruptions that impacted various segments, including its pet division. 

Despite these hurdles, the company remains optimistic about future quarters, anticipating improved supply chain stability and consumer confidence.

Pet segment sales for General Mills amounted to US$624.5 million in Q3, marking a 3% decline year-over-year primarily due to volume reductions. Over the nine months, pet segment sales totaled US$1.77 billion, down 2% compared to the previous year.

The decline in volume, down 5% in Q3 and 7% over the nine months, particularly affected pet treats and dry pet food categories. However, the wet pet food segment showed promise, with improved retail sales attributed to strategic pricing and packaging initiatives.

Operating profit for the pet segment remained positive, increasing by 25% year-over-year to US$128.3 million in Q3 and by 10% over the nine months. 

This growth was driven by cost-saving measures and favorable pricing strategies, although it was partly offset by higher supply chain costs and input inflation.

General Mills’ pet brands faced challenges in the pet specialty retail channel but experienced growth in Food, Drug, and Mass (FDM) sales and pureplay e-commerce channels. 

The company highlighted improvements in Blue Buffalo’s retail sales trends, particularly in its Life Protection Formula (LPF) dry dog food line.

Looking ahead, General Mills aims to drive volume and share growth for its Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula and expand its presence in the wet pet food category. Additionally, a marketing refresh for Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness line is planned for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2024.

Despite the challenges, General Mills reported US$5.1 billion in net sales for Q3, with operating profit up 25% year-over-year. 

The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2024 guidance, expecting flat to slightly decreased organic net sales but anticipating growth in adjusted operating profit and diluted EPS.

General Mills’ strategic focus on brand building, innovation, and in-store execution contributed to improved volume and market share trends in the third quarter,” Jeff Harmening, chairman and chief executive officer of General Mills stated. 

We continue to navigate today’s evolving operating environment while generating industry-leading levels of cost savings. And we remain committed to investing further in our brands and capabilities to drive profitable growth over the long term.”

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