, a maker of cereals and baking products, said fiscal second-quarter earnings rose 49.5% to $565.5 million, or $1.66 a share, as demand remained strong and U.S. retail sales rose 4%.
Net sales in the quarter rose 2% to $4.08 billion.
A year earlier, General Mills earned $378.2 million, or $1.09 a share, on net sales of $4.01 billion.
General Mills said earnings excluding items in the latest quarter were $1.54 a share, exceeding the estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters of $1.45 a share.
General Mills said based on strong first-half operating performance and business momentum it is raising its fiscal 2010 earnings guidance to a range of $4.52 to $4.57 a share, excluding mark-to-market effects. The company's previous guidance called for earnings of $4.40 to $4.45 a share.
Analysts expect fiscal 2010 earnings of $4.52 a share.
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.
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