All business sectors showed strength, with Western Europe the most robust, at 10.5% sales growth, Rest of World at 8.4% and Out-of-Home at 2.9%. Shares in the key Western European countries (Netherlands, France and Spain) held steady or grew.Mix improved to +6.5%, from +5.4% last quarter, while volume continued to be negative at -7.3% compared to the prior year in Q3. Volume has been affected by three factors: the elimination of private label business in France in summer 2011; the effects of the Thai flooding; and negative volume trends in several smaller countries due to aggressive pricing to protect margins. Excluding French private label and Thai volume declines, the ongoing business shows a -3.9% compared to the prior year in Q3. Actions are underway to rebalance volume and margins in these markets.
Sara Lee Reports Third Quarter Earnings
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