Sara Lee cuts 2012 sales view on forex

Thu Nov 3, 2011 8:17am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - U.S. food maker Sara Lee Corp SLE.N reported slightly better-than-expected quarterly earnings, but cut its full-year sales forecast due partly to unfavorable currency exchange rates.

On a net basis, the company on Thursday reported a loss of $217 million, or 37 cents per share, in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2012 that ended on October 1, compared with a year-earlier net profit of $192 million, or 29 cents per share.

Excluding items, Sara Lee reported a profit of 18 cents per share, topping analysts' average expectation by a penny, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose to $1.94 billion from $1.73 billion a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting sales of $1.98 billion.

Sara Lee, based in a suburb of Chicago, is planning to split into two companies -- one focused on North American meat brands including Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park frankfurters, and one focused on international coffee and teas, with brands such as Douwe Egberts and Pickwick.

The company said it still expects adjusted earnings of 89 cents to 95 cents per share in fiscal 2012. But it lowered its sales forecast to a range of $7.9 billion to $8.15 billion, from a prior forecast of $8.5 billion to $8.75 billion, due to currency exchange rates and the reclassification of its North American food-service beverage business as a discontinued operation.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller in New York, editing by Maureen Bavdek)