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General Mills Reaffirms Fiscal 2014 Financial Targets

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with a presentation today at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer Conference, General Mills (NYSE: GIS) reaffirmed its key financial targets for the 2014 fiscal year.  The company said that for the fiscal year ending May 25, 2014, it continues to expect low single-digit growth in net sales, mid single-digit growth in segment operating profit, and high single-digit growth in adjusted diluted earnings per share to a range of $2.87 to $2.90.  General Mills' fiscal 2014 plans also include strong cash returns to shareholders through a 15 percent dividend increase effective Aug. 1, 2013, and increased share repurchases. 

General Mills' fiscal 2014 second quarter ends Nov. 24, 2013, and the company expects to report results on Dec. 18, 2013.  General Mills said today that its second-quarter input cost inflation is expected to be above its first-quarter inflation rate.  For the full fiscal year, the company continues to forecast 3 percent input cost inflation.  Second-quarter operating profit results will compare to strong year-ago performance, when U.S. Retail segment operating profit grew 9 percent, and Convenience Stores and Foodservice segment profit rose 24 percent.

The company's business plans for fiscal 2014 feature strong levels of product innovation and consumer marketing support worldwide.  General Mills also has a comprehensive set of holistic margin management (HMM) initiatives planned in 2014, which are expected to generate significant supply chain and administrative cost savings.  A webcast of General Mills' complete presentation will be available at through Nov. 29. 2013.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on management's current expectations and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the potential results discussed in the forward-looking statements. In particular, our predictions about future net sales and earnings could be affected by a variety of factors, including: competitive dynamics in the consumer foods industry and the markets for our products, including new product introductions, advertising activities, pricing actions and promotional activities of our competitors; economic conditions, including changes in inflation rates, interest rates, tax rates or the availability of capital; product development and innovation; consumer acceptance of new products and product improvements; consumer reaction to pricing actions and changes in promotion levels; acquisitions or dispositions of businesses or assets; changes in capital structure; changes in laws and regulations, including labeling and advertising regulations; impairments in the carrying value of goodwill, other intangible assets, or other long-lived assets, or changes in the useful lives of other intangible assets; changes in accounting standards and the impact of significant accounting estimates; product quality and safety issues, including recalls and product liability; changes in consumer demand for our products; effectiveness of advertising, marketing and promotional programs; changes in consumer behavior, trends and preferences, including weight loss trends; consumer perception of health-related issues, including obesity; consolidation in the retail environment; changes in purchasing and inventory levels of significant customers; fluctuations in the cost and availability of supply chain resources, including raw materials, packaging and energy; disruptions or inefficiencies in the supply chain; volatility in the market value of derivatives used to manage price risk for certain commodities; benefit plan expenses due to changes in plan asset values and discount rates used to determine plan liabilities; failure or breach of our information technology systems; foreign economic conditions, including currency rate fluctuations; and political unrest in foreign markets and economic uncertainty due to terrorism or war. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statements to reflect any future events or circumstances.

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