General Mills, Minneapolis, reported today that net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 totaled $4.38 billion, down 1% from year-ago levels. Sales and operating profit for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 23, 2014, reflect lower volumes, consistent with generally weak food industry trends during this period; the impact of increased consumer marketing and merchandising investment in the company's U.S. yogurt business; and negative foreign currency effects, according to the company.

Third-quarter net sales in the company’s U.S. Retail segment declined 2% to $2.62 billion. Segment operating profit totaled $517 million, 11% below strong year-ago results. This primarily reflects the impact of higher dairy input costs and increased marketing and merchandising investment for the U.S. yogurt business, the company stated.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Powell said, "This year's severe winter weather dampened sales performance across the food industry, and third-quarter results for our U.S. Retail and Convenience Stores and Foodservice segments reflect that disruption. International segment results were stronger, with constant-currency sales gains in every region including double-digit growth in both Asia-Pacific and Latin America."

For the nine months of the company’s fiscal year, net sales have increased 2% to $13.63 billion. Yoplait Greek yogurt was cited as one of the retail products contributing to year-to-date net sales growth. Others include Fiber One protein bars, Nature Valley oatmeal squares and Totino's frozen pizza and snacks.

International net sales growth included strong contributions from Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Wanchai Ferry frozen dim sum products in China, and Yoki popcorn varieties and Kit Facil dinner kits in Brazil.