Income statement

The company was established in the mid 19th century (precisely in the 1860s) as a milling company. The establishment of General Mills changed the way flour was manufactured with the introduction of flour with better baking abilities which showed the company’s innovativeness even at its inception years.

A century later, the company added to its product range of children’s products including Play- Doh, Easy Bake Ovens, Spiro graph, Monopoly and Next balls with the company also partnering with Betty Crocker, Bullwinkle, the Lone Ranger as well as Pillsbury doughboy. These are American most remembered icons.

In 1930s, the company was sponsoring baseball through its trusted brand the Wheaties. This sponsorship led to the labeling of the Wheaties brand as the breakfast of champions with one of the company’s baseball announcer Ronald ‘Dutch’ Reagan being chosen the best announcer in 1937. This opened doors for him from an announcer, actor to being the president of the country.

The company is also credited with great innovation like theAlvin-a three person submarine which was used in the rescue mission when Titanic sank in 1985

The company has however, focused on food with its mantra being ensuring a healthier, easy and rich living.

As seen above, the company has focused on food production with its presence being felt in over 100 countries which has helped the company achieve the number six position in the world.

The company trades in well known global brands like Green giant vegetable, Old El Paso Mexican food and Haagen- Dazs ice cream

Back home, the company sells Yoplait yogurt, Cheerios, Wheaties and Big G cereals

The company also deals in local products e.g. Diablitos meat speared inVenezuela,Latinapasta inAustraliaand La Saltena dough inArgentina.

Basically, the company trades in the following business lines

Baking products under the names Betty Crocker dessert mixes, Cakes and Frostings, Bisquick baking mixes and Gold medal flour.

The big G cereals brands include Cheerios, Wheaties and Lucky-charms which are ready to eat.

Meals that the company manufactures trade under Helper dinner Kits, Betty Crocker potato mixes, Progresso soups, Green giant vegetables and meal starters and old El Paso Mexican foods brand names.

Under the organic food business, the company has Carcadian Farm and Muir Glen

The company’s Pillsbury business line deals with refrigerated products which include Pillsbury home baked classics, Pillsbury frozen breakfast items and Totino’s frozen pizza and snacks.

The snack category includes Fruit roll-ups, Chex mix snacks, Pop secret popcorn, Nature valley and Bugle brand,

Under the yogurt business line, brands like Yoplait Go-Gurt andColomboare traded.

The bakeries and Food services line include products like baked, unbaked dough product sold on cafeteria, convenience states and restaurants.

Under the international brands are the Haagen-Dazs ice cream Pillsbury, Betty Crocker desserts and mixes, Green giant vegetables, Old El Paso foods and other localized products.

The company has also formed joint ventures with Nestle, DuPont and the Suntory and Takanashi dairy.

The company facts

General mills name


Traded in NYSE –GIS (ticker symbol)

The head office isMinneapolis,MN)

Review income statement

a) Gross profit rate, profit margin ratios and trends for 3 years

Gross profit margin

= Gross profit


$m                               $m                                           $m

2007                            2006                                        2005

=4487                          4167                                        3982

12442=36.06%          11,712=35.58%                       11,308=35.21%

The gross profit margin rate has been increasing over the last 3 financial years which means that company’s profitability has been increasing. In 2005 the gross profit margin rate was 35.21% increasing to 53.58% and 36.06% in year 2007.

Profit margins

=net profit


$m                               $m                               $m

2007                            2006                            2005

=1144                               1090                            1240

12,444 =9.31%                11,719=9.31%            11308=10.97%

The profit margins have been dropping and this shows that the expenses have been increasing. The gross profit margin, as seen above, has been increased and therefore it is expected that the net profit margins should have increased but that is not the case

The margin ratios decreased from 10.97 % in 2005, 9.31% in 2006 and to 9.19% in 2007.



b) % increasing in sales and net profit for years 2006/2005 and 2007/2006.



% increase in sales

2007/2006                                           2006/2007

12.442-11,712                                     11712-11308

11712 =6.23%                                     11308 =3.57%



%charge in net profit

2007/2006                               2006/2005

=1144-1090                             1090-1240 = 12.1%

Increase in net sales

The introduction of new products of more than 400 contributed to the increase in sales of the company.

The company was able to increase in sales in year 2007 through the introduction of new channels and also due to the increase in demand of international markets.

Another reason for the improved sales of the company was due to get rejuvenated interest in products like Big G to cereals and Pillsbury in theUSAmarket in year 2007.

In the 2007, sales increase was largely due to the increase in sales units both local and international markets with pricing strategies and good product mix being another factor.

The foreign exchange currency charges which favored the company also contributed to the increase in sales




Changes in income

One of the business lines- the joint-ventures earnings increased in year 2007. Part of the net income in year 2006 and 2007 were reduced by the restructuring costs that were incurred during those two financial years.

Inflation is another factor that has caused the profit margin to reduce with restructuring costs incurred by the company leading to the reduced net profits. (Page 35 annual reports 2007)

The net income in 2006 decreased primarily due to net benefits gains on divestitures and debt repurchase costs in the year 2005

Review of the balance sheet

a) Current and debt ratios

Current ratio

Current ratio measures the ability of the company to meet its present short term obligations e.g. creditors, overdrafts etc. The recommended current ratio is at least 2:1 i.e. current assets 2 to current liabilities 1.

Current ratio = current assets

Current liabilities

$m                   $m                   $m                   $m

2007                2006                2005                2004

3054                3041                3055                3215

5845=0.522     6138 =0.495    4184 = 0.73       2757 = 1.167

The current ratio for financial year 2006 is 0.522 up from 0.495 in year 2005. The rates however are far below the recommended 2:1. The trend is positive i.e. the ratio improved for the last 3 years.


One of the reasons for the recent positive trend is due to the fact that most of the current liabilities have been decreasing with the most of the net assets also increasing.

Debt ratio

It shows the level of gearing i.e. the amount of debt that is used in the company’s balance sheet. It also shows the amount of debt that is used in the operations of the company.

The formula for the debt to assets ratio is as follows;

Debt ratio = total debt

Total assets

$m                   $m                   $m                   $m

2007                2006                2005                2004

(1734+3218)   (2131+2415)   (1638+4255)   (233+7410)

18184=0.27     18075=0.25     18066=0.33     18448=0.41

The general trend over the 4 years from 2004 to 2007 has been decreasing which is a positive trend. Too much debt in the company’s books may create cash flow problems due to the high interest payments to be made by the company.


The rate of debt to assets ratio has been dropping due to the reduced debt use by the company over the period under review.

The total amount of debt has reduced from $ 7643 million in 2004 to $ 4950 million in 2007.



b) Inventory costing and depreciation of plant assets

All inventory except Grain stock of the company in theUSAare carried at the lower of cost using Last-in-First out (LIFO)

Grain stock derivatives and all cash based contracts are valued at market price with any decrease or increment being recorded in the income statement.

Stocks outside theUSAare valued at First-in-First-out (FIFO) or at market rates.

Shipping costs on sales are recorded as part of the cost of goods sold and recorded when the product is shipped to the buyer.


The depreciation on plant (building equipment and any capitalized cost) is depreciated using the straight line method.

Buildings are depreciated over a range of 40-50 years while equipments, furniture, and software are depreciated over a period of between 3 to 15 years.

Any fully depreciated assets are still recorded in the books until disposed off with any gain or loss on disposal being shown as profits

A part from depreciation assets are also periodically reviewed for impairment.

c) Preferred or common stock

The company has five million authorized preferred stock, which has not been issued and with par value of zero.

The company has 502 million common stock issued of par value $ 0.0996

When multiplied with the par value, the value of common stock is equal to the one recorded in the balance sheet (502 million x 0.0996)


d) Account receivable

2007                                    2006

953,000,000                            912,000,000

Allowance for doubtful accounts

16,000,000                              18,000,000

Gross receivable 969,000,000                         930,000,000

% of doubtful receivable

=16000000                  18000,000

969,000,000                930,000,000

=1.65%                        =1.94%

(Page 83 of 2007 Annual Report note 17)

Part 3

a) Cash flow from operating activities

$m                   $m                   $m

2007                2006                2005

Net cash from operating activities      1765                1848                1794

The cash flow from operating activities followed the same trend as that of net income




b) Investing activities

$m                   $m                   $m

2007                2006                2005

Net investing cash flow                      (597)                (369)                (413)

The purchase of land, building and equipment accounted for the largest movement in the investing cash flow

2007                2006                2005

Purchase of land, building equipment (460)               (360)                (434)



Another item that affected investing cash flow is the disposal of business

2007                2006                2005

____                ____                799

c) Total amount spent on capital expenditures

$m                               $m                               $m

2007                            2006                            2005

Purchase of land building &equipment 460                           360                              434

Acquisitions                                           85                             26                                ___

Investment in affiliates                         100                            1                                  1

  645                           387                               435

d) Dividend                                        $m                               $m                               $m

2007                            2006                            2005

Dividend paid                                     506                              485                              461





Company news and assessment

a)      The rising cost of raw materials has affected the compact’s profit margin which has forced the company to increase price of its products at the same time reducing the quantity.

If the prices of inputs continue to rise, it will reach a point where the company will have to increase the prices if its products hence affect the revenues. (The products will be expensive)

Decreasing revenues will lead to lower margins due the reduction of profits by fixed costs

Another factor that could positively affect the company’s profitability is the pricing strategy used by the company. The company products are priced almost 10% lower as compared to its main competitors-Kellogg and Ralcorp.

If the company were to increase the prices of the products, the revenues will definitely shoot up and thus increase its profit margins.

The share repurchase that the company is undertaking will reduce the number of outstanding common stock and therefore increasing the earnings per share. Higher earning per share is the aim objective of any company’s management. Better earnings also will lead to increased demand of the company’s stock and therefore rise in prices which will lead to increased market capitalization.

The shareholders equity will definitely increase as a result of increased EPS.

Product recalls like the recent recall of Totino’s and Jeno’s brands could negatively impact on the company’s profitability and image which may lead to loss of revenue and market segment. Loss of revenues will reduce the incomes of the company and therefore reduced profitability which in turn affects the earnings to stockholders (leads to less earnings being paid out to shareholders).

b)      Yes. The company’s earnings in terms of EPS have been increasing and therefore it shows the company is rewarding its investors well as the profitability rises. The return on capital invested has also been increasing and therefore it indicates the management ability to use efficiently the available resources to maximize the generation of earnings

The recent common stock shares repurchase leads to less outstanding shares and therefore with the increasing profitability it means that the shareholders will earn more.

Based on dividends per share and the expected fore casts, the company’s dividends pay outs will increase and therefore holding shares of such a company means better returns.

Another factor that could also entice any investor is the share price appreciation which recently has been rising. Based on the projected forecasts, the company’s share price is expected to rise and therefore, investors will benefit from capital appreciation.

Based on al of the above estimates and news I would invest in the company.

c) Yes. I would lend money to the company for the following reasons.

There payment history of the company is good. The company has not defaulted on its repayments of the loans the company has.

The notes payable yield has increased from the 2006 figures, and this, therefore indicates the high returns expected on any of the company’s notes.

The company’s debt to asset ratio has decreased from 41% in 2004 to 27% in 2007. This indicates less dependency as debt capital as compared to total assets therefore reduced financial risks and risk of default because the debt amount is lower.