Sara Lee: Profit grows on strong sales

Chicago / IL. (sl) Food maker Sara Lee Corporation says its fourth-quarter profit soared due to higher sales in nearly every division, led by retail meats and household and body care products.

For the quarter ended June 30, net income climbed to 117 million USD from eight million USD in the prior-year quarter. Revenue rose eight percent to 3,2 billion USD from 2,97 billion USD in the fourth quarter of 2006. Analysts predicted revenue of 3,16 billion USD.

The Downers Grove, Illinois-based food company sells products under brands names such as Ball Park, Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean, as well as its namesake. Sales in the company´s largest division – North American retail meats – rose nearly six percent while the slightly smaller household and body care segment saw sales rise 15 percent in the quarter.

North American retail bakery, international bakery and international beverage sales also grew in the quarter, helping to offset at two percent drop in sales in the foodservice division.

For the year, net income fell nine percent to 504 million USD from 555 million USD in the prior year. Revenue grew seven percent to 12,28 billion USD from 11,46 billion USD in 2006.
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