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Sara Lee Reports Third Quarter Earnings

Chief Executive Officer Marcel Smits added, “I am pleased to report that Meat Co showed continued improvement in volume trends, achieved SG&A reductions and launched new innovation in the third quarter. The Coffee & Tea business performed well in its main markets with underlying margin improvement, and is gearing up for significant innovation. Activity levels in both companies increased during this period as the corporate headquarters operation continued to be scaled down. In addition, both businesses worked through manufacturing inefficiencies that impacted results. Positively, after two years of steep commodity cost increases, we finally see a stabilization and, in the case of coffee, a reversal of raw material trends. For the first time in two years, both businesses recovered their commodity cost increases and will see further benefits in Q4, particularly in coffee. We are confident that we will achieve our guidance, at the low end of the range for sales and operating income, as we continue to build two stand-alone businesses.”


Fiscal 2012 Guidance

Guidance Current Expectations
Adjusted EPS $0.89 - $0.95 Middle of the range
Net Sales $7.9-$8.15B Low end of the range
Adjusted Operating Income (including acquisitions) $875 - $930M Low end of the range
Net interest expenses $80M ~$65M
Tax Rate 33.4% ~33%
Year-end-cash $300M ~$300M
Year-end-debt $2.4B ~$1.7B*
Average dollar euro exchange rate $1.35 $1.35
*Updated on March 2, 2012          

Coffee & Tea Co.
Third Quarter   ($ millions)   First Nine Months
2012   2011   % Change   Continuing Operations   2012   2011   % Change
929 888 4.6 Adjusted Net Sales 2,823 2,567 10.0
938 925 1.4 Reported Net Sales 2,858 2,552 12.0
36 47 (23.1) MAP 141 131 7.1
120 131 (8.7) Adjusted Op. Seg. Inc. 385 374 2.9
106   134   (20.7)   Reported Op. Seg. Inc.   360   333   8.2

Overall, Coffee & Tea experienced strong performance in its branded business during the quarter. Excluding green coffee exports, adjusted net sales increased by 8.2%. Including export sales, the business grew by 4.6%. NOTE: Going forward net sales will be reported excluding green coffee export sales.

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