MILWAUKEE – Sara Lee Corp. said Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 15 percent thanks to a weaker dollar and raised prices to offset commodity costs.

Reports said that the maker of Hillshire Farms meats lowered its outlook for the fiscal year because of a strengthening dollar and outstanding shares.

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sara Lee said profit rose to $230 million, or 32 cents per share in the three-month period ending Sept. 27. That was reportedly up from earnings of $200 million in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $3.35 billion from $3.05 billion a year earlier, on sales growth in key business units like North American retail and fresh bakery, and international household and body care.

Sara Lee reportedly said net sales rose 10.6 percent to $680 million in its North American retail unit, and the gains were driven by higher unit volumes, higher prices and favorable sales mix. Unit volume rose 2.5 percent, and reports said it was driven by sales of Ball Park hot dogs, Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, lunch meats, cocktail links and Sara Lee frozen sweet goods. Many key brands, including Jimmy Dean, Senseo and Ball Park, increased their market share in the quarter.


Source: Associated Press