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General Mills Inc. financial results were announced Wednesday.

Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press

General Mills Inc’s quarterly profit beat Wall Street expectations on Wednesday as the Cheerios maker benefited from higher demand for its pet foods, sending its shares up 3 per cent.

The maker of Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms acquired Blue Buffalo Pet Products for $8 billion last year in a push to capitalize on growing demand for pet food.

Sales at its pet unit rose 16 per cent in the quarter, helped by price increases and the recent roll out of Blue Buffalo products in Walmart stores.

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Adjusted gross margins rose 80 basis points to 35.3 per cent.

Net earnings attributable to the company rose 69 per cent to $580.8 million in the second quarter ended Nov. 24, as it recorded impairment and restructuring costs of $209.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding items, the company earned 95 cents per share, beating analysts’ expectations of 88 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net sales rose to $4.42 billion from $4.41 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of $4.43 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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