* Sees full-year sales fall vs prev. forecast of flat sales
* 2nd-qtr sales $4.42 bln vs est $4.61 bln
* Co’s U.S. retail sales fall 4 percent (Adds details, updates share movement)
Dec 17 (Reuters) - General Mills Inc reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly sales, hurt by a strong dollar and weak demand for its snacks and baking products in the United States, and cut its full-year sales forecast.
The company now expects net sales to fall in low single-digit percentage terms for the year ending May on a constant-currency basis, down from its previous forecast of flat sales, to reflect the sale of its Green Giant frozen vegetables business.
Shares of the company were down 2.7 pct at $57.62 in premarket trading on Thursday.
The Cheerios cereal maker’s U.S. retail sales fell 4 percent in the second quarter ended Nov. 29 as consumers shift away from processed items and pick foods that are perceived as healthier.
U.S. sales accounted for 62.4 percent of the company’s sales in the quarter.
To meet the changing demand, General Mills rolled out gluten-free Cheerios in various flavors this year.
The Yoplait yogurt maker also said on Tuesday that it had reduced sodium by at least 20 percent in seven product categories including soups and frozen pizzas.
General Mills has been cutting jobs, selling plants and selling brands to reduce expenses.
The company said in September it would sell its Green Giant and Le Sueur frozen and canned vegetable businesses to B&G Foods Inc for about $765 million.
The divestitures and a strong U.S. dollar contributed to falling sales in the quarter, the company said.
Net income attributable to General Mills rose 53 percent to $529.5 million, or 87 cents per share, in the quarter, helped by cost cuts.
Excluding items, the company earned 82 cents per share.
Total sales fell 6 percent to $4.42 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of 83 cents per share and revenue of $4.61 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company also cut its adjusted profit growth forecast to low single-digit from the mid single-digit rate it had forecast earlier. (Reporting by Abhijith G and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Shounak Dasgupta)