Sara Lee 1Q Profit Rises 23 Percent Though Sales Fall

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. Falling commodity costs and internal cost-cutting helped food maker Sara Lee Corp.’s first-quarter profit rise 23 percent, the company said Thursday.

The maker of Jimmy Dean sausages, Hillshire Farm deli meats and its namesake desserts and breads, Sara Lee reported it earned $284 million, or 41 cents per share, up from $230 million, or 32 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue declined 7 percent to $2.59 billion as it sold fewer products.

“A number of factors contributed to our results, including lower input costs, … cost savings and pricing discipline,” Chief Executive Brenda C. Barnes said in a statement.

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